Kozhikode: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, on Monday, officially announced the Kerala State Organic Farming policy aimed at making farming sustainable and ensuring toxin-free food to public within 10 years.
Speaking on the occasion at the Urban Wholesale Agricultural Market at Vengeri here, he said many districts which had already commenced organic farming had reported good results. However, this was confined to limited spaces and resources. Now, the government would implement the policy on a large scale in all districts, thus avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, Mr. Achuthanandan said.
Repeated use of pesticides resulted in pollution of water bodies and soil as well as destruction of flora and fauna. Consumption of chemically treated vegetables and food grains had even led to pesticide residual in breast milk, he said.
Crop and cattle
He said that farming and cattle rearing had to be linked for development of agriculture and dairy sectors. Compost of cow dung was good manure for agriculture. Mixture of cow dung and urine could be used as insecticide. People could emulate the farmers of Andhra Pradesh who had vowed to avoid chemical pesticides, Mr. Achuthanandan said.
Under the organic farming policy, cultivation would be carried out in over 30,000 hectares in the first phase. All crops would be converted into organic farming mode in a phased manner within the next 10 years.
Presiding over the function, Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran said that the levels of literacy in water, agriculture and nature were low in the State. A campaign was needed to change people’s attitude, he said.
Minister for Forest Benoy Viswom participated in the inaugural function. M.K. Raghavan, MP, distributed the welfare schemes of the Horticulture Mission to the beneficiaries.
First Published in The Hindu, on 18/05/2010