Agricultural roadmap will fulfil dream of organic Bihar: Greenpeace

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Patna, July 4 (IANS) Greenpeace India has emphasized that the proposed agricultural roadmap would be a major step towards realising the dream of an organic Bihar.

Greenpeace India has in its feedback suggested that all provisions in the roadmap, which aim to help the farmers adopt ecological agriculture, be brought under the single umbrella of the Ecological Bihar Mission.

It also stressed on drawing up a biomass conservation and quality enhancement strategy by adding a few more elements such as cattle sheds with pucca floors and urine collection tanks, EcoSan toilets, promotion of vegetable, fruit and other ecologically suitable trees, rainwater harvesting infrastructures such as shallow wells, bunds, lakes and ponds etc. in the list of subsidized items.

Greenpeace India has also suggested creation of a single-window application clearance system in all identified villages and corridors so that the farmers can easily take advantage of this scheme by completing all the formalities of the process.

Implementation of continuous training for farmers, farmers’ counsellors and related experts has also been underlined in the suggestions.

Extra emphasis has been laid on setting up a separate department on ecological farming, promoting research and conducting ecological farming programmes in all institutions related to agriculture, where sharing of knowledge, experience and new experiments related to ecological farming can take place.

Greenpeace India on Tuesday submitted its feedback on the Bihar government’s latest agricultural roadmap draft to Sudhir Kumar, Principal Secretary of the state’s Agriculture Department.

Senior campaigner with Greenpeace India Ishteyaque Ahmed lauded the initiative.

“The proposed roadmap has many elements which are essential to initiate a paradigm shift towards ecologically empowered and climate resilient robust agriculture system. We are also able to see the risk-taking appetite and openness to innovations in the roadmap to make farmers of the state self-dependent, hence economically well-equipped to tackle the economic onslaughts of current times,” Ahmed said.

“We congratulate the authors and designers of the third roadmap for pro-actively aiming for achieving the goal of increased farmers’ income, and shifting focus on organic and ecological ways of farming is the most obvious and natural option for achieving the visionary task,” he added.

Ahmed said, “We also welcome the proposal of developing one village in each district of the state as the model ecological farming village and creating organic farming corridors along the Ganga and all state and national highways in the state.”

“We are also appreciative of the pro-active steps of the concerned departments for identifying Patna-Nalanda road links to be developed as the first organic farming corridor and further identification of nine districts in the state for promotion of organic vegetable production,” he added.

Ahmed admitted that achieving these objectives in a short span of five years is a “Herculean task and requires immaculate planning and transparency”.

Welcoming the acknowledgement of market linkage as an essential component of ensuring good returns to the organic farmers in the roadmap, Greenpeace India recommended that the roadmap should aim at connecting all the organic/ecological food producers through a chain of block-level to state-level ecological food producer markets.

A regular review of the policies and strengthening of implementation processes laid down in the roadmap has also been proposed.

–IANS

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