Lauding Sikkim for taking the lead in organic farming, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday said Himachal Pradesh needs to surpass the state in zero budget natural farming instead of using insecticides and pesticides.

He was speaking at Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar Agriculture University, Palampur in Kangra district after laying the foundation stone of the zero budget natural farming centre along with Governor Acharya Devvrat.
Thakur said the university was well known for need-based research in the field of agriculture, veterinary and animal sciences in the state.

With 13 research stations and eight Krishi Vigyan Kendras located in different parts of the state, the varsity is catering to the basic needs of the farmers after thorough training, thus assisting agriculturalists to improve their economy.

“As 90 per cent of our population is dependent on agriculture, the agriculture programmes should be directly associated with farmers to bring changes in a big way and it should not be delayed,” he said. The CM said the farming community will benefit a lot from zero budget natural farming projects and with the launch of the pilot project. The CM pledged to redress grievances and problems being faced by the varsity.

As per data of 2015-16, farmers were using 523 metric tonnes pesticides and insecticides. HP needs to study organic farming models of states like Sikkim and Bhutan, he said. The need for e-marketing of farming produce was also stressed and directions were issued to scientists to form WhatsApp groups for sharing details of research with farmers. Thakur reiterated his government’s resolve to root out corruption from the state and mafia of all types.

Governor Acharya Devvrat too stressed on the need for switching over to zero budget natural farming as chemical or organic farming was not acceptable.