Punjab farmers taking to organic farming: Minister

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Chandigarh, Mar 18 (UNI) Farmers in Punjab are adopting organic farming and as per the information supplied by the state's Organic Council about 5078 acres of land has been brought under organic farming, Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah informed the state Assembly here today.

Around 700 farmers have so far switched to organic farming, the Minister told Makhan Singh (Cong) during the Question Hour.

A Centrally Sponsored Scheme for popularisation of organic farming in the state had been introduced during the year 2007-08, he said.

Under the Scheme, Rs 15.20 lakh has been allocated by the Centre and training to the farmers on organic farming is being organised in the state along with field demonstrations, he said.

A Model Organic Farm of over 577 acres has been set up by the Organic Farming Council at Ropar for production, demonstration and training on organic farming and commercial vermicompost production, he told the member while acknowledging that there was no special assistance/credit being given to farmers adopting organic farming.

Replying to another question raised by Randeep Singh Nabha (Cong) on compensation for farmers whose potato crops were damaged due to extreme cold weather conditions, Revenue Minister Ajit Singh Kohar said the government had ordered all the Deputy Commissioners in the state to conduct a special 'girdawri' (survey) not only in respect of potatoes but for all the crops damaged due to severe cold and frost. The 'girdawri' was ordered on January 25, he informed the Assembly.

On the basis of reports received from all the Deputy Commissioners, an area of 66,785 acres, 7 kanals and 13 marlas of potato crop was affected, for which relief amounting to about Rs 14.12 crore is proposed to be disbursed to the affected farmers as per norms fixed by the government, Mr Kohar added.

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