Sufal Bangla has bagged Rs 18 crore grants from the union agriculture ministry under the Parampara Krishi Vikas Yojna
“Sufal Bangla”, an initiative of the West Bengal government, that has been launched to ensure delivery of fresh vegetables at reasonable prices at the door step of the customers, plans to accord stress on organic farming and organic products. The state agriculture department has decided to build a mall at Rajarhat which will be exclusively showcasing a variety of organic products that are being produced in various parts of the state.
“The proposed mall to be dedicated to showcase products produced through organic farming is a unique idea that will not only inspire the farmers to increasingly adopt organic farming, this will also contribute to a great extent towards environment protection,” West Bengal agriculture minister Tapan Dasgupta said.
According to Sampad Ranjan Patra, the director of the state agriculture marketing department, Sufal Bangla has bagged Rs 18 crore grants from the union agriculture ministry under the Parampara Krishi Vikas Yojna for undertaking organic farming in about 120 clusters in as many as 13 districts across the state. Each cluster comprises 50 farmers. Organic farming follows certain prescribed rules. A specific stretch of land identified for organic farming, will require three years to yield organic produce. It takes nearly a couple of years to rid that land of toxic material and during this period, the total yield from that land goes down.
The Central grant, Patra explained, is meant for financial assistance to farmers belonging to the clusters during that initial year so that they continue with organic farming. On the third year, the toxicity of the land is tested and once it is found that there is no toxic material in it, the agricultural produce in that land gets the “India Organic Logo” certificate which guarantees its authenticity of organic farming.
“The mall is aimed at showcasing only those products that have obtained this certificate. Not only this, the mall will house a special laboratory which will test the products before certifying their organic quality,” the agriculture minister claimed. Interestingly, besides tea, various other organic products are being produced in West Bengal in an unorganised fashion. For instance, at Badabon village in the remote Sunderbans Island, farmers have begun pisciculture through organic means. Some at East Midnapore district, instead of taking the crop to the rice mill, have still been using the traditional ‘dheki’ to remove the husks from rice. “Our idea is to bring them under one roof and to give a major push to the process of organic farming,” Dasgupta said.
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