Punjab honoured as second best state amongst states of north and north-east India for extensive promotion and implementation of organic farming and bagged prestigious 'Jaivik India Award'.The Union Minister for Commerce and Industries Suresh Prabhu conferred the coveted 'Jaivik India Award' upon the state, which was received by Managing Director Punjab Agro Sibin C, IAS in a function held here at Delhi.The function was organised by International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) with support from Government of Karnataka.Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of Agriculture Department said that Punjab has been chosen under the category of Jaivik India Award of Best State Government/Agency represented by Punjab Agro in recognition with its concerted efforts for implementation of programmes to promote organic farming and support organic farmers in the state, next to North Eastern state of ManipurThe states were selected on the recommendations of 15 members jury, which include eminent personalities from organic programme of Ministry of Agriculture and National Centre of Organic Farming, pioneers and experts of Agriculture Universities, organic industries and big retail chains, organic exporters and official members from International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement.
The spokesperson further pointed out that Punjab Government through Punjab Agri Export Corporation (PAGREXCO), a mandated agency, is implementing the Organic Programme by providing institutional support to the organic farmers of the state under various GOI schemes. He said that in addition to supplying Organic inputs, experts team undertakes training, on bio-input production, organic crop practices and, hand holding of the farmers for the Organic farm management as per Organic standards. He said that Punjab Agro was helping the farmers in the marketing of their produce by purchasing Organic Wheat, Basmati Rice, Maize and other crops from them at remunerative prices after certification for selling the same in India and abroad. He said that Punjab had already successfully brought 8000 acres with 2100 farmers under certified Organic production. More farmers are joining. Punjab Agro has now started processing the certified organic produce of the farmers in Certified Organic processing units and has come out with various products under the brand name “FIVE RIVERS”. For Promotion and Marketing of the Organic products the Organic Huts are being setup in all the districts of the state as well as in other states and the National capital, he added.Prominent amongst those present in the function included Agriculture Minister of Karnataka NH Shivashankara Reddy, Secretary Agriculture GoI Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary Agriculture Karnataka Maheswar Rao and Agriculture Commissioner Karnataka Dr. KG Jagdesha.