India exported 1.6 lakh MT organic products in 2012-13

The government is promoting organic farming in a big way as a result of which India exported agri-organic products of total volume of 160276.95 MT and realization was around Rs.1155.81 crore in year 2012-13, said Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Tariq Anwar, on Friday.

In a written reply to Rajya Sabha questions, Anwar informed that the government is promoting organic farming through various schemes like National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF), National Horticulture Mission (NHM), Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States (HMNEH), National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility (NPMSH&F), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and also Network Project on Organic Farming of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Under National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) scheme, assistance up to 25% and 33% of financial outlay up to a ceiling of Rs. 40 lakh and Rs. 60 lakh respectively is provided as back ended subsidy through NABARD for establishment of bio- pesticides/bio¬fertilizers production units and agro waste compost production units respectively.

Besides, under National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States (HMNEH), financial assistance is provided for setting up vermi-compost production units at 50% of the cost subject to a maximum of Rs. 30,000/- per beneficiary, for adoption of organic farming at Rs.10,000/- per hectare for maximum area of 4 hectare per beneficiary and for organic farming certification at Rs.5.00 lakh for a group of farmers covering an area of 50 hectares.

Assistance for promotion of organic farming on different components are also available under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) with the approval of State Level Sanctioning Committee. Under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) on Pulses, including Accelerated Pulses Production Programme (A3P), assistance for popularizing Rhizobium culture/Phosphate Solubilising bacteria is provided to the farmers under cluster demonstrations.

Similarly, under Initiative for Nutritional Security through Intensive Millets Promotion (INSIMP) Programme, Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria/Azotobacter culture is provided to the farmers as part of technology demonstration.

Further, under National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility (NPMSH&F) financial assistance of Rs 500 per hectare is provided to promote use of organic manure. The financial assistance is provided on the basis of project proposals received from States including Maharashtra.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under Network Project on Organic Farming, with lead centre at Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research Modipuram is developing package of practices of different crops and cropping system under organic farming in different agro-ecological regions of the country.