Jairam Ramesh launches programme on organic farming

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (UNI) Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh today launched a study programme on organic farming.

Market for organic farm products in the country is estimated at Rs 100 crore and is expected to grow steadily from 35 to 50 per cent by 2010.

Global market is expected to touch 100 billion dollar by 2010 and India has the potential to become an international hub. An estimated 1.7 million hectares is under certified organic farming in the country.

First of its kind in the country, the 6-month course on organic farming has been jointly developed by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

The Minister said it will meet requirement of vast manpower for trained personnel in organic farming sector. Those trained can find employment as organic farming professionals, advisors, entrepreneurs, quality certifiers, marketing and export trade facilitators.

He said organic farming in India is set to get a major boost due to the rising income levels and health consciousness among people.

The course will be available to students, progressive farmers and certifying personnel from the coming academic year through IGNOU's open and distance learning mode. Candidates with senior secondary education will be eligible to enrol for it and avail IGNOU's facilities at its programme study centres across the country.

UNI SAA MSJ GC1854

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