Ahead of the Kharif season, Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kisan Yojana (PK3Y) in a bid to expansion is targeting to bring additional 30,000 Acre under natural farming in 2023-24 in Himachal Pradesh.
Agriculture Secretary Rakesh Kanwar on Wednesday asked the officials to engage with farmers to work on area expansion under natural farming ahead of Kharif season.
He said this should primarily include the existing farmers practicing natural farming, whose number has risen to 1.59 lakh farmers in the state.
“The total area under natural farming in the state is around 50,000 Acre so far. The target is to bring additional 30,000 Acre under natural farming in 2023-24,” he said.
Chairing the review meeting of the Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kisan Yojana here, Rakesh Kanwar asked the officials to reach out to the farmers with millet production plan as well for the kharif season and said they must do necessary arrangements for the same, including timely availability of seeds of millets to the farmers.
The officials must organize regular interaction of trained farmers with new farmers for experience sharing for awareness on the natural farming technique, he added.
He said the ATMA officials should identify some areas, where people are willing to go for natural farming on their own, and work out a strategy to declare them a natural village, panchayat or at any level.
The Secretary said the PK3Y should aim at assessing the production of the natural apples so that it could be well advertised in advance to see the response among buyers.
“This would add to the marketing linkages for the natural produce,” he said.
State Project Director, PK3Y Naresh Thakur said around 52,000 farmers have so far been certified for natural produce through a self certification method devised under PK3Y.
He said there was a target to certify all the existing farmers.
Thakur asked the officials to devise a method so that the NGOs or Farmer Producer Organisations can also be brought under certification for agriculture and horticulture produce.
“A mechanism should also be there to certify the processed products like ghee of a desi cow, fruit jam etc for better marketing,” he said.