The State Government was contemplating to cover all the 9.61 lakh families of farmers of the State under natural farming by the year 2022. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the Apex State Level Committee for monitoring of Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojna here today.Chief Minister said that natural farming was a complete paradigm shift from traditional farming which involves various cropping inputs. He said that continuous use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers have increased the yield of crops but has trigged negative impact on soil as well as environment. He said that natural farming emphasis on natural growth of various crops without use of fertilizers and pesticides.Jai Ram Thakur said that during his first budget for the year 2018-19, he had allocated Rs. 25 crore for promotion of natural farming in the state. He said that the scheme envisages to increase farm income in harmony with the nature with no use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. He said that since agriculture plays significant role in economy of the state with over 67 percent population directly depending on agriculture.Chief Minister said that the natural farming not only helps in providing hygienic and chemical free fruit and vegetable to the farmers, but also give them remunerative price of their produce. He said that State Government had set a target of covering 50 thousand families under natural farming in the State during the year 2019 but succeeded in covering about 55 thousand families. He said that target has been fixed to cover two lakh farmer families under natural farming during the current year. He said that out of total 3226 panchyats in the state, 2934 panchayats have been covered under Subhash Palekar Natural Farming.
Jai Ram Thakur said that appropriate training was also being provided to the farmers regarding natural farming. He said that as many as 72193 farmers have been trained for natural farming during the year 2019-20 against the target of 50 thousand farmers. He said that about two thousand training camps were organized during the 2019-20.Chief Minister said that actual training camps were not possible due to the covid pandemic, regular video camps and awareness campaigns through social media were conducted to motivate the farmers to adopt natural farming. He said that personal contact with trained farmers and meeting with small groups of farmers adopting natural farming were also held during this period. He said that the State Government would also consider providing separate market place for farmers to facilitate them in selling their natural produce.He said that the State Government was also providing subsidy of 25 percent on purchase of indigenous breed of cows which would not only help in supplementing the income of the farmers but would also help in natural farming. Chief Minister also released publications on success stories regarding achievements of farmers under Prakritik kheti Khushal Kisan Yojna.Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar said that natural farming was highly profitable for the agriculturists as well as fruit growers as it requires minimum farm input. He said that the State Government was committed to promote natural farming in order to double the farm income by 2022.Principal Secretary Agriculture Onkar Sharma, while welcoming the Chief Minister detailed various initiatives and achievements made by the State Government in effective implementation of Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojna in the State. He said that this model of farming was best suited for hilly state like Himachal Pradesh.Special Secretary Agriculture-cum-State Project Director Subhash Palekar Natural Farming Rakesh Kanwar presented vote of thanks.Executive Director State Project Implementing Unit Prof. Rajeshwar Chandel made a presentation on Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojna.Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Chairman Agriculture Marketing Board Baldev Bhandari, Director Agriculture Dr.Sandeep Bhatnagar, Secretary Horticulture Amitabh Awasthi were present among others.