To provide safe, healthy and environment-friendly food, the Tamil Nadu government has rolled out the organic farming policy towards 'chemical-free organic agriculture' in the state
Aimed at conserving soil health, agro-ecology and biodiversity, the Tamil Nadu government has rolled out the organic farming policy towards 'chemical-free organic agriculture' in the state, thereby providing safe food for the people.
The policy unveiled by Chief Minister M K Stalin at the Secretariat on Tuesday would work on providing safe, healthy and environment-friendly food.
India occupies fifth place with a total area of 2.66 million hectares while Tamil Nadu holds 14th rank in organic farming across the country with 31,629 hectares of organic agriculture land, the policy said.
Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under organic certification followed by Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka.
In 2020-21, India produced around 3.48 million metric tonne of certified organic products like oil seeds, cereals and millets, cotton, pulses among others.
In terms of exports, the processed foods (45.87 per cent) lead among the products followed by oil seeds at 13.25 per cent and cereals at 7.61 per cent.
In 2020-21, Tamil Nadu shipped 4,223 metric tonne of organic products worth Rs 108 crore.
Some of the advantages of organic farming is that it improves and sustains oil fertility while minimising the use of off-farm resources.
"Organic farming creates harmonious balance between crop production and animal husbandry and facilitates alignment of life with natural ecosystems and cycles. It also supports self-reliance and sustainability in farming," the policy document said.
On the need for organic farming, the policy said many health issues noticed across the world were found to be residues of agro-chemicals. It has been proven that pesticide residues cause many health hazards to humans and animals.
The World Health Organisation (WHO is promoting 'One Health' which necessitates organic farming to improve soil health. Tamil Nadu has great potential for production and supply of organic produce in relation to the global demand, the policy said.
"This necessity for an environmentally safe food supply system has initiated the need for framing the organic farming policy which will ensure upscale and support the chemical free organic agriculture in Tamil Nadu and to provide safe food for the people," the policy said.
Organic farming would encourage mixed farming as the components are interdependent. Integrated organic farming systems would be popularised and season-based cropping system diversification would be adopted, it said.
Nutritional crops like millets, pulses and vegetables will be encouraged to ensure nutritional security. Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) would be promoted to reduce the input cost towards purchase of inorganic fertilisers and pesticides, it said.
Various committees, including a high-level team headed by the Chief Secretary, would be formed to review the policy every five years and a steering committee would be formed to monitor the implementation of organic farming policy and finalisation of schemes.
A district-level committee headed by a Collector with members from various departments and institutions would be formed, it said.