Central govt approves ₹82.83 crore for UP to promote natural farming, says Yogi Adityanath


Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said the Central government has approved ₹82.83 crore for Uttar Pradesh to promote natural farming and innovative agriculture practices in a big way in 35 districts of the state under the centrally funded Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati scheme. The scheme would cover an area of around 38,670 hectares and the programme would be implemented for three years starting from the Kharif season this year, Yogi Adityanath added.

Yogi Adityanath was delivering a speech virtually in a one-day national workshop as part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” organised by the Niti Aayog on the subject of cow-based natural farming and innovative agriculture.

Yogi Adityanath mentioned how the Bundelkhand region of the state had traditionally been practising natural farming in different forms. The chief minister said that to promote such practices further, it was proposed to set up clusters of 500 to 1000 hectares in all the 47 development blocks of all seven districts of the Bundelkhand region.

“About 47,000-hectare area will be targeted in the next five years with the project cost of ₹175.46 crore, benefitting 1.17 lakh farmers,” Yogi Adityanath stated. Highlighting the importance of natural farming, Yogi Adityanath said that besides increasing production, the objectives of increasing the income of farmers had to be met along with conservation of natural resources, environment conservation, and providing proper nutrition to nurture human health. One way to achieve these goals was through cow-based natural farming, he said.

“Cow-based natural farming means low cost and toxin-free farming. The rural economy has major dependence on ‘gau vansh’ (cattle). While agriculture is being mechanised, the utility of bullocks in the farm economy has also been realised,” Yogi Adityanath said.

He also said implementation of cow-based natural farming in the state would help in the protection and promotion of ‘gau-vansh’ as well. The use of crop residue in natural farming and its use in mulching would also help curb stubble burning, he added. He further said, “A campaign has been started to adopt natural farming within a 10 km radius of the Ganga. One-day training on cow-based natural farming was organised on January 22, 2020 at Chandrashekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology,” he said. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath suggested enhancement of the incentive to farmers for natural farming, saying that it should be brought at par with the PKVY ( Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana) incentive of ₹31,000 per hectare.

The chief minister also maintained that one of the biggest challenges associated with organic farming or natural farming is the value addition and marketing of products.

“It is suggested that the scheme guidelines may also include a budget for activities related to branding and marketing,” he said. During the scheme implementation period, the assessment of soil health and the presence of organic carbon before sowing and after harvesting was necessary, he said.

“Therefore, an appropriate budget for conducting these soil tests may be incorporated into the scheme guidelines,” the chief minister said.

The workshop was attended by Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Parshottam Rupala, Gujarat governor Acharya Devvrat, and NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar, among others.

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