Mysuru (H.D.Kote), Nov. 20, 2020: Agriculturists and consumers are preferring organic farming and organic products for better health. Increased use of chemicals has resulted in declining soil health and human health. It is also resulting in increased production costs and decrease in income of farmers. As a result, farmers are incurring losses and are unable to repay loans and hence are preferring organic farming. In order to reduce the production cost and gain better profits a few farmers have started adopting organic farming methods. At the same them they are also worried as they are unable to get a proper price for their hard earned produce. They will get a good price if organic farming is certified, it will help them to fetch international market too. Organic farming can become profitable only when this becomes true. Farmers will get attracted towards organic farming only when they get a good price for the crop. Otherwise there are all chances of returning to chemical farming. Hence, in order to make organic farming more profitable, noticing the need of proper guidance and certification, the ICAR JSS Krishi Vignan Kendra, had organised a one-day training programme on organic farming certification, at Chaakahali Village in H.D. Kote Taluk, under the Paramparika Krishi Vikas Yojane, on dt: 19.11.2020.
Addressing the farmers on the occasion, Sri Prasanna, Deputy Director, Karnataka State Seed and Organic Certification Institute provided information about the points that farmers need to follow to get organic certification. He opined that organic certification can be done in groups or individually. The first step is to submit an application and pay the stipulated fee, along with documents like address proof, PAN card copy, Aadhar card, telephone number, e-mail address, RTC and field map. A transformation period of 2 years have been fixed for annual crop and 3 years for perennial crop. Plant and animal based manure should be used in organic farming, he explained.
Usage of tobacco decoction, solid metals, city compost, chemical weed-killer, pesticides and fungicides are not allowed. Machinery that is used for chemical farming can be used for organic farming only after cleaning it properly. Burning of organic produce has been prohibited, especially in sugarcane fields. Water should be used proportionately and proper measures should be followed for saline and non-saline soil. All the organic crop should be stored in separate godowns and labelled separately as IC-1,2 during first and second years. From third year it will be certified as organic produce, he explained.
Sri Shareef, Karnataka State Organic Certification Institute officer explained about the method of forming organic farmers group. “In the first step the group should be registered. There will be 25-500 members in each group, comprising a manager, field officer, storage officer and sales officers. The members should be small land holding farmers. In case of large land holding farmers (above 10 acres) it should not be more than 50%. The field will be visited twice a year and inspected to certify it. The group members shall avail training as per their requirements, from experts. The stipulated fee for 5 acres is Rs. 5,000; Rs. 6,000 for 6 acres; and Rs.8,000 for above 20 acres. A sum of Rs.30,000 fee has been stipulated for more than 250 acres. The certification should be renewed once in every three years by paying the stipulated fee. This way the farmers can earn more profits through the international market,” he explained.
Sri Shamraj, Cultivation scientist, KVK expressed his view that it is very important to improve the quality of soil first in order to undertake organic farming. “Soil germs and earthworms should be increased. Usage of compost, green manure, jeevamrutha, beejamrutha, bio fertilizers, panchagavya can be used in order to enhance soil health. You can get a better yield only when you follow this,” he added.
Smt. Divya, Seed Technology Scientist, KVK said that it is impossible to educate farmers about organic farming without providing them knowledge of bio pesticides that needs to replace chemical pesticides. She advised the farmers to commence treatment of disease and pests through treatment of sowing seeds and following various cultivation methods, dry pits, and conserve soil and water. Pest management should be done using nets, decoctions in an integrated way. She explained how to prepare Brahmastra, Panchagavya and Agniastra using locally available leaves like neem leaves, akada leaves, marigold flowers, lakki, guava, pomegranate, orange, seethaphal, lantana and other sour leaves and cow urine. She also informed how to prepare different types of decoctions using cow urine, neem, chilli, garlic, ginger and asafoetida and its applications.
About 40 farmers from Chaakahalli village, in H.D. Kote Taluk took part in the training. The programme commenced with an invocation by Guruswamy, Smt. Divya welcomed and Manjunath compered.