Kolkata: In a significant stride towards extension of organic farming with planned focus on cost minimisation, the state government will soon take up large scale production of organic crops including vegetables in Bankura district.
A five-member expert team from Bengaluru and Hyderabad has already provided training to 100 farmers from Dalpur at Chatna block in Bankura. These trained farmers will now train their counterparts in organic farming.
"We organised a 5-day workshop where the team of experts gave training on how plants are capable of taking their own food from the atmosphere and how use of chemicals can be eliminated for growing crops.
They showed the trainees how urine and excreta of a cow can be used as bacteria. They have now learnt how to produce organic fertiliser on their own along with the exact percentage of materials needed for fertilizer to grow good quantity of organic crops," said Subhasis Batabyal, vice-president of West Bengal Agro Industries
According to Batabyal, a planned and systematic approach is needed to rope in more and more farmers in organic farming. "The process will begin with demonstration which will lead to gradual acceptance and then we have to look for extension," he added.
The state Agriculture department will start from Chatna block and will proceed with the aim to introduce it in every block in Bankura in the next few years.
"The most important aspect of the training was field demonstrations of every intricate details associated with organic farming. The farmers were also offered organic food so that they can understand the difference of taste from the conventional stuff that is available in the market. "For acceptance among farmers, we have to clearly make them understand that organic crop cultivation is profitable than the agricultural activity with which they are involved," as senior official of WBAIC said.
It may be mentioned that the state government is also taking steps for encouraging farmers to take to up organic farming in districts like Nadia, Murshidabad, and Malda.
It may be also mentioned that the state Agriculture department has been extending all necessary support by providing expertise to initiate organic farming on three bighas of vacant land at Bidhan Sishu Udyan in Ultadanga in North Kolkata. There are around 300 coconut trees and waterbodies where the project has been taken up.
Every Sunday, the produce gets sold in a weekly market. Farmers from many villages visit the weekly market to sell organic vegetables. In April last year, a three-day Jaibo Krishi Mela was held at Bidhan Sishu Udyan where 50 stalls exhibited organic vegetables and machineries used for farming.
The state Fisheries department has also taken steps to initiate pisciculture using organic methods in a 22-bigha pond at the same location. Thus, people visiting the place can not only learn the ways of organic farming but also know how pisciculture can be done in an organic method.