LUCKNOW: Following Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s instructions to encourage organic farming in the region, the agriculture department has prepared a roadmap to promote chemical-free farming in the Bundelkhand area. The immediate beneficiaries of the initiative are Hamirpur and Banda. From 2016-17, the agriculture department in Hamirpur began encouraging organic farming, with promising results. The state government has allocated a budget of Rs 4.68 crore to improve the soil’s condition, provide subsidies, and support to farmers in more districts.
The department plans to divide Hamirpur’s 3.25 lakh hectares of agricultural land into clusters. According to an officer, each cluster will have over 50 acres of land, and its development will be monitored. Natural alternatives are being utilized instead of chemical-based fertilisers and pesticides.The two natural manures made from cow urine and dung are being used extensively in Jeevamrit and Amrit Pani, while farmers are learning how to vermicompost.
While on average, 160 to 180 kg of fertiliser is applied to one hectare of land in Uttar Pradesh, Hamirpur’s figure has risen to 47 kg per hectare. Officials will hold meetings and interactive sessions with farmers from 339 gram panchayats to discuss the benefits and encourage them to pursue organic farming. In another development, the department has decided to donate Rs 1 crore to Banda district. The funds will be used to establish a centre of excellence for dry farming research.
Dry land farming is a practice of cultivation that involves enhancing and processing the soil to conserve the most water, according to Vijay Kumar, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department, Banda. It requires effective storage of rainwater and irrigation with moisture present in the atmosphere.