Nadia District Administration aims to develop 50 organic villages through the MGNREGA scheme. Seven such organic villages have already been developed through this project, in convergence with Border Area Development Project (BADP) in seven bordering blocks with Bangladesh.
Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimise the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. The principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment. Entire chunk of lands have been taken up for organic cultivation.
The area demarcated for the production is being practised with organic inputs including pest-disease control.District Magistrate Vijay Bharti said initially seven villages had been adopted with organic methods and 25 more villages have been identified to promote the practice. “The demand for organically-raised products is increasing day by day, along with consciousness about health.
Farmers are getting a higher price for their organic products. It is needless to mention that due to continuous usage of chemicals on the soil and crops, soil health is deteriorating constantly and the quality of produce is also not good from the health point of view. We are consuming chemicals from the chemically-produced crops and our health is deteriorating with these products.”
Shimulia, Fatepur, Harekrishnapur, Vogaipur, Dharampur, Betai Lalbazar and Kulgachhi villages in the blocks Chapra, Hanskhali, Karimpur I and II, Krishnaganj, Tehatta I and II have already adopted the organic practice. 382 farmers are currently practising organic farming.
The MGNREGA scheme is assisting them to establish organic pits, composting pits, vermi-composting pits, irrigation channels and plantation in terms of Individual Benefit Scheme. These villages are under the process of getting organic certification for selling their produce, with the ‘organically produced’ sticker.
As per norms, the organic village will get certification after three year of moratorium period. Another 25 villages in Hanskhali, Karimpur, Tehatta and Chakdah are undergoing the process of adopting organic practices through MGNREGA, Bharti said.
It may be mentioned that several women in Nadia are earning a steady income and becoming economically independent by carrying out fish farming, after getting assistance from MGNREGA.