YS Jagan pitches for national policy on natural farming

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has called for a national policy on natural farming.

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Addressing the NITI Aayog virtual meet on Natural Farming on Monday, Reddy said that while there has been a quantitative increase in the production of food grains through the green revolution, there is a need for qualitative measurement to keep the society healthy by reducing the usage of synthetic chemicals in agriculture, in the present time.

Noting that it would take 3-5 years for farmers to follow the natural farming methods, Reddy emphasised on the need for a national policy for natural farming to ensure that more incentives are given to the farmers, thus facilitating their gradual and smooth transition.

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He also spoke in favour of setting up mechanisms to reward states that are actively taking up natural farming.

“I request that states having larger areas in natural farming should be given higher weightage in finance commission recommendations. Since they are helping the country in climate change mitigation and carbon neutrality goals. Further, the syllabus in agriculture universities should include natural/organic farming in the curriculum. There is a need for systematic research for natural farming,” said Jagan Mohan Reddy.

He also noted that funding for state governments transmitting into natural farming should be liberal and norms should be different. At present, the centrally sponsored schemes are at 60-40 ratio but I would strongly recommend it should be 90-10 at least, Reddy said.

Andhra Pradesh has enrolled 6.31 lakh farmers utilising natural farming techniques in 2021-22, covering 2.9 lakh hectare and these initiatives are being implemented through 3,009 out of 10,778 Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBK) in the state, the chief minister said.

“After seeing the efforts of Andhra Pradesh in natural farming, the German government has agreed to fund setting up Indo-German Global Centre for Agro-Ecology Research and Learning (IGGARL) and the project is in the final approval stage. The German government has agreed in principle to provide a grant of 20 million euros over a period of five years. Together, we have committed to set up world-class agro-ecological research and learning centre which would produce graduates and post-graduates to integrate scientific knowledge with natural farming,” said the Chief Minister.

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