12 May 2012

Government is promoting Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) through soil test based balanced and judicious use of chemical fertilizers in conjunction with organic sources of nutrients to sustain and improve soil health and its productivity. In 2008-09 a National Project on Management of soil Health & Fertility (NPMSH&F) was launched to promote soil test based balanced and judicious use of fertilizers. Setting up of new static/mobile soil Testing Laboratories (STLs), strengthening of existing STLs, training of STL Staff/ Extension Officers/Farmers, field demonstrations on balanced use of fertilizers, promoting use of organic manure, soil amendments and micro-nutrients are supported under the scheme. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) also imparts training and organizes field demonstrations to educate farmers on INM. Under MGNREGA following activities are taken up by State governments for enhancing agriculture productivity: water conservation and water harvesting; 1. drought proofing (including afforestation and tree plantation); 2. irrigation canals including micro and minor irrigation works;\ 3. 4. provision of irrigation facility, horticulture, plantation and land development facilities to land owned by households belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes or Below Poverty Line families or to beneficiaries of land reforms or to the beneficiaries under the Indira AwasYojana of the Government of India or that of small farmers or marginal farmers as defined in the Agriculture Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008 or to the beneficiaries under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006. 5. Renovation of traditional water bodies including de-silting of tanks; 6. land development; 7. flood control and protection works including drainage in water logged areas. 8. This information was given by Shri Harish Rawat, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

Organic food is becoming popular in the country during the last few years.  According to Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), production  of certified organic food products for the last three years is as under:
(Million Tonnes)
(Million Tonnes)
(Million Tonnes)
 Government is providing incentives to producers of organic food products under the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) @ Rs.10,000/- per hectare for maximum area of 4 hectare per beneficiary, setting up of vermi0-compost units @ 50% of the cost, subject to a maximum of Rs.30,000/- per beneficiary and organic farming certification @ Rs.5.00 lakh for a group of farmers covering an area of 50 hectare.

            This information was given by Shri Harish Rawat, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

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