BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh has the largest certified organic farming area under cultivation in India, but it has failed to turn it into an advantage. Lack of certifying agents and poor government support has crippled produce and snatched farmers the opportunity to garner 10% higher market price as is the global parameter. This was revealed in the latest report released by Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) on Thursday.
Even five years after drafting a policy on organic farming, the state government has failed to implement it. Secretary general, Assocham, DS Rawat said, “Though total area under organic farming in MP has risen from 4.32 lakh hectares in 2009-10 to over 26 lakh ha (it is nearly half of the total organic farming area in the country) in 2014, but this has not benefitted farmers. Certified organic farming area under cultivation remains at just 1.48 lakh ha.” He said there was an immediate need to implement draft policy for organic farming formulated way back in 2010.
In terms of volume of production and area under organic cultivation, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Orissa are leading the charts. With more than 1.48 lakh ha area under certified organic farming of a total certified area of 3.4 lakh ha in the country, MP accounts for 40% total organic farm produce in the country, the report stated.
Organic farming provides livelihood to 1.7 lakh farmers in MP alone, but their incomes have not risen owing to poor certifying facilities in the state while incomes of farmers have increased 10-fold across other states, the study stated.
Speaking to TOI, secretary general, Assocham, D S Rawat, said: “Fruits and vegetables account for lion’s share of 40 per cent in the entire organic market, but most farmers in MP remain outside the purview of organic produce.”
Citing loopholes, Rawat said, “Organic produce is limited to oilseeds, cotton and small quantities of cereals. However, there’s a need to broaden scope of organic farming. Besides, chemical consumption growth in agriculture is outpacing organic production growth in MP.”
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