Organic farming promotional programmes in the State
The Government of Karnataka, realising the importance of organic agriculture brought out a State Policy on Organic Farming as early as in 2004 itself and has implemented several schemes and programmes since then to promote organic farming in the State. In accordance with this, the State has witnessed a steady growth in the certified organic area from a mere 2,500 ha during 2004-05 to 93,963 ha as on March 2016. Presently, Karnataka ranks fifth in the country in terms of certified area and third in terms of total certified annual production.
Savayava Bhagya Project
SavayavaBhagyaYojane an ambitious project of the Karnataka government, is being implemented at Hobli level since 2013-14 in coordination with NGOs selected transparently through e-tendering. The selected NGO has been entrusted with the task of adopting 100 hectares of area in each Hobli. Wherein the farmers of each project area are formed into organic farmers associations and registered under society Act. Currently, this project is under implementation in 566 Hoblis of the State in an area of 63,677 hectares involving 53,829 farmers. Each project area of 100 ha is registered for group certification through Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency (KSSOCA).
Assistance are being extended for the establishment of organic manure production units viz., Vermi-compost, Compost, Bio-digester, Azolla, cattle urine collection pits, cement structures for production of liquid-manures/ panchhagavya/ jeevamruta/ beejamruta in each project areas (100 ha). Assistance is also being given for flooring of cattle sheds for collection of urine & dung. In addition to these, organic manures viz., green manure seeds, concentrated manures, oilcakes, bio- fertilizers are being distributed to the farmers at subsidized rates. Further, assistance is also being extended for collection at cluster level, grading, packing, branding and market of organic produce.
The entire area under SavayavaBhagyaYojana has been brought under group certification programme through Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency (KSOCA).
Market Based Specific Crop Organic Cluster Development Programme :
This scheme is being implemented from 2017-18 under SavayavaBhagyaYojane project areas with a focus on market based specific crops or commodity inorder to provide the required bulk &continous supply to meet the market demand. Further, focussed attention is being provided to develop proper linkages between producers and consumers by strengthening the supply chain mechanism on value chain mode by supporting activities related to production, collection, grading, value addition, processing, packing, brand development, whole sale and retail marketing of organic produce.
Organic Farming aims at production of quality and safe agricultural produce which contain no chemical residues following eco-friendly production methods and farming systems that restore and maintain soil fertility. Organic Certification is the certification of the farm where in the Organic produce is produced by methods that comply with national and international standards set for organic farming. Organic certification is necessary to market organic produces at local and export level.
The certification guarantees that the organic produce/products are produced in organic farms complying with the stipulated standards. It separates the organic produces from other produces and thus protects the interests of organic farmers. Certified organic produce command better prices in the market.
In Karnataka, group certification of organic farms under Government promotional programmes are undertaken by certified agencies recognized by APEDA, GoI, in coordination with Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency. Around 63,677 hectares and 53,829 farmers covered under SavayavaBhagya have been brought under certification through Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency. The third year certification process (IC-2) is currently underway.
In Karnataka, group certification of organic farms is undertaken by certified agencies recognized by APEDA, GoI, in coordination with Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency. 63,677 hectares and 53,829 farmers covered under Savayava Bhagya have been brought under certification through Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency. The second year certification process (IC-2) is currently underway.
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana(PKVY)
The state has also initiated the implementation of the Centrally Sponsored scheme “ParamparagataKrishiVikasaYojana(PKVY)” from the year 2015-16. The said programme is being implemented in all the districts &Taluks of Karnataka in project areas of 50 acres (clusters) each. A total of 545 crop-specific organic clusters @ 3 clusters/taluk have been selected throughout the state covering an area of 27,250 acres benefiting 25,968 farmers in the state. The project areas are registered under Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of certification is adopted in PKVY implementation area.
A sum of Rs. 2,630.00 lakhs has been reserved for this project during the year 2016-17.
Karnataka Organic Farming Policy 2017
Karnataka State policy on organic farming 2017 was released during the National Trade fair in 2017. The policy is a revision of the 2004 version, incorporating new objectives and strategies to create more opportunities for the farmers of the state to meet the growing demand for organic/millet food in the market. The new policy apart from promoting sustainable organic production systems focuses on providing proper value chain linkages between producers and consumers through strengthening of the supply chain mechanism. Suitable strategies have been formulated to ensure organised/systematic forward and backward market linkages to the farmers/farmers’groups/marketers of the state inorder to provide quality organic food to consumers while ensuring that the organic farmers do not revert back to conventional farming .
Regional Federations of Organic farmers Associations:
To facilitate systematic marketing of organic produce, Govt. of Karnataka has facilitated setting up of regional federations of organic farmers’ associations by federating thehobli/village level organic farmers’ associations throughout the state. 14 regional federations of Organic farmers Associations are established and registered during 2015-16. Market related activities viz., collection, grading, value addition, processing, packing, brand development, whole sale and retail marketing of organic produce are being assisted and taken up through these federations.
Karnataka: Millet capital of India
Karnataka is promoting millets as nutri-cereals that are good to eat and grow and kind on the planet. Millet production and promotional programmes are being taken up by the department of Agriculture. The perception of ragi (finger millets) and jowar (sorghum), the principal millets of the state, as food of the poor is changing mainly among those with lifestyle diseases. Karnataka has developed a brand called “Siri” for millets as they are referred as ‘siridhanya’ or rich grains. Karnataka has started implementing distribution of millets through PDS -where in the grains are sourced and distributed locally.Today, Karnataka is one of the leading producers and consumers of millets in the country. It also stands at the top of the market with a huge demand for millets. The state government is trying to make millets ‘The Food of the Future’ through various initiatives and ensuring farmers get their due remuneration. It is procuring Ragi&Jowar by giving a bonus of 20-25 percent above the MSP from farmers.