Maha encourages organic farming, prepares policy draft

Mumbai: Concerned about side-effects of chemicals on farming lands, Maharashtra Government has taken an initiative to encourage organic farming in the state and come up with a policy draft for the purpose.

"Repeated use of fertilisers and pesticides have reduced fertility of the land. Crop productivity has also been affected and therefore the Government has come up with a policy on organic farming," an official from Agriculture Department said.

The Government intends to bring 10 lakh hectre of land under organic farming till 2015 against 6.50 lakh hectre at present, the official said.

The draft said that the organic farming where farmers would use local natural resources as fertilisers and would shun chemicals will help improve the quality of land and reduce pollution of water and air.

The use of organic fertilisers like vermicompost and local plants including Neem has been suggested in the draft. It recommends intense research in the field by setting up sections on organic farming in all the four agriculture universities in the state.