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Niti Aayog workshop on innovative agriculture says it is time to promote natural farming

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami spoke about the current status, progress, and challenges in natural farming in Uttarakhand.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

A Niti Aayog workshop on innovative agriculture today said the time is opportune to promote natural farming in the country as India is food surplus, and there is increased awareness about consuming nutritious food due to Covid-19.

Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, along with Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat and Central Ministers participated in the workshop.

Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand told the workshop: “We can give a chance to such alternatives (natural farming) because there is no serious threat to food security since we are food surplus.” Natural farming should be adopted step-wise, he said.

Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying Minister Purushottam Rupala pointed out that the awareness about nutritious food, good health, and immunity had increased during the pandemic. Natural farming can meet the demand, he said.

Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar mentioned that the Government was encouraging agricultural practices that work in harmony with nature, reduce the cost of production, and ensure good-quality produce and profits to farmers.

The Gujarat Governor shared his experience regarding how shifting to natural farming led to a significant reduction in the cost of cultivation, improvement in soil health, and enhancement in yield.

He said adopting natural farming will help optimize the work of farmers and benefit the environment at large, especially when it comes to the use of water. “There is huge scope for bringing in innovations in the agriculture sector through natural farming,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath joined the workshop virtually and highlighted the importance and traditional aspects of cow-based natural farming which helps sequester carbon and improve soil health.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan mentioned the state’s plan to promote natural farming on the two banks of river Narmada, and 5,200 villages.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy stressed the need to enhance research on natural farming and stated the need for support from the Centre for natural agriculture in the ratio of 90:10.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami spoke about the current status, progress, and challenges in natural farming in Uttarakhand.

Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the time is ripe to encourage natural farming and share the benefits with people at large, especially farmers. A bilingual compendium of 110 success stories of natural farming from 13 states was released during the event.

More than 1250 participants from Central Ministries, State Governments, industry, farmers, academic and research institutions, KVKs, NGOs, and national and international organizations participated physically and virtually.