Uttarakhand News

Uttarakhand to pass Organic Agricultural Act in January, 2nd state after Sikkim

by Abhay Aswal
Jan 02, 2018

Following the footsteps of Sikkim, which is India’s first fully organic state, Uttarakhand is all set to roll out Organic Agricultural Act in the month of January in 2018. With this, Uttarakhand will become second state after Sikkim in the country to have its own Organic Agriculture Act paving way for transforming Uttarakhand into a fully organic state in near future. The proposed act, if passed, will focus on cultivating indigenous organic products and is modeled on the one implemented by Sikkim which practices organic farming on 75,000 hectare of agricultural land.

Our focus is on ‘organizing’ unorganized organic sector of Uttarakhand which has very high potential for buyers of national and international markets. The Act will regulate the private agencies, NGOs, etc. engaged in export, trade and processing of organic agricultural produce. Also, the entire process of organic certification for the farmers would become extremely easy with the induction of Organic Act.

Vinay Kumar, Director, Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board (UOCB)

At present, around 40,000 hectare of agricultural land has already been turned organic with over 80,000 small and medium farmers engaged in organic farming. The state has maximum organic farms in Rudraprayag (3,422 hectares) followed by Pithoragarh (3,241) and Uttarkashi (2,966) with farmers reaping benefits by selling amaranth, millet and medicinal and aromatic plants.

While the state government is planing to introduce the Organic Agricultural Act in the third week of January, farmers and experts are skeptical. Tuning a chemically treated terrain into organic will not be easy as apple and vegetable belts in the region witness extensive use of chemical fertilizers. All hopes are pinned on this organic act to improve the agriculture sector in Uttarakhand which contributed 22% in gross state domestic product in 2004-05 and took a nosedive to touch 9% in one decade, according to the ASSOCHAM survey.

Inputs from Times of India