Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that his state will be promoting natural farming in a big way.
He said that a fund of Rs 82.83 crore has been approved for this by the Central government for 35 districts of the state under the centrally-funded scheme of Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati.
Delivering a speech virtually in a one-day National Workshop as a part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” organised by the Niti Aayog on the subject of Cow-based Natural Farming and Innovative Agriculture, he said that the scheme will cover an area of around 38,670 hectares.
The programme will be implemented for three years starting from Kharif this year, he added.
Mentioning how the Bundelkhand region of the state has traditionally been practicing natural farming in different forms, the Chief Minister said that to promote it further, it is proposed to set up clusters of 500 to 1,000 hectares in all the 47 development blocks of all seven districts of the Bundelkhand region with the financial resources of the state.
“About 47,000-hectare area will be targeted in the next 5 years with the project cost of Rs 175.46 crore, benefitting 1.17 lakh farmers,” he stated.
He further said: “The area of 128.73 lakh hectare and 129.32 lakh hectare comes under the cultivation of Kharif and Rabi, respectively. In the year 2020-21, Uttar Pradesh was the largest food grain producing State in the country by achieving record production of 619.47 lakh metric tonnes.”
Highlighting the importance of natural farming, the Chief Minister said that besides increasing production, the objectives of increasing the income of farmers have to be met along with conservation of natural resources, environment conservation, and providing proper nutrition to nurture human health.
One way to achieve all these multiple goals is through Cow-based Natural Farming.
“Cow-based natural farming means low cost and toxin-free farming. The rural economy has major dependence on ‘Gau Vansh’. While agriculture is being mechanised, the utility of bullocks in the farm economy has also been realised,” said Yogi Adityanath.
He said that the implementation of cow-based natural farming in the state will help in the protection and promotion of ‘Gau Vansh’ as well. The use of crop residue in natural farming and its use in mulching will also help curb the incidents of stubble burning.
“A campaign has been started to adopt natural farming within 10 km radius of river Ganga. Horticulture and agro-forestry have also been included in natural farming within 10 km of river Ganga in selected districts under the Namami Gange programme. This will benefit more than 2 lakh farmers,” he added.
Talking further about the promotion of natural farming over chemical farming in the state, the Chief Minister said the demonstration programmes have been started by the state government for research and training in agricultural universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
“It is suggested that ICAR takes lead by conducting co-ordinated research at agricultural universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras as well as ICAR institutions. This will help in the identification of crops and the varieties, agro-climatic zone-wise, that are most appropriate for natural farming. These can then be disseminated among the farmers,” he stated.