CHENNAI: The State government on Tuesday released the Tamil Nadu Organic Farming Policy 2023 to ensure food security and conserve and protect soil health, agroecology and biodiversity. Chief Minister MK Stalin released the policy in the presence of Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam and Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu.
The policy, which would have a validity of five years, seeks to ensure agricultural sustainability by encouraging organic practices and resource conservation, strengthening the organic certification sector, preference to cluster approach, R&D and education on organic farming and strengthening of institutions, and seeks to provide safe, healthy and environment-friendly food.
Focus on potential crops and prospective districts for various crops and the creation of market linkages and exports are the other core areas dealt with within the policy. Under sustainable agriculture, the policy proposes to popularise integrated organic farming systems and adopt season-based crop diversification. Encouraging the integration of rain-fed agriculture, horticulture, permaculture, agroforestry, farm-forestry, dairying, fish culture, beekeeping, poultry and resource recycling within the farm are also among the strategies proposed in the policy.
Subsidy & incentives
As an extension of the government’s nutritional security measure, the Agriculture department has mooted encouragement of organic farming of nutritional crops like millets, pulses and vegetables. The creation of a support system for organic farmers, incentivising them for eco-services and traditional practices, besides distributing bio-fertilisers and bio-inputs at subsidised rates has been recommended. Credit flow and support through crop insurance for crop loss/damage under natural calamities are also envisaged.
Panel to review, monitor
The policy recommends forming of a high-level committee led by the state Chief Secretary with members from the government and institutions to review the policy and status.
A steering committee under the chairmanship of the Agriculture Production Commissioner and Agriculture Secretary will monitor the implementation of the policy.
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