Area under organic farming along Ganga increases four-fold

Area


New Delhi, Sep 24 : Total area under organic farming and agro-forestry increased from 23,840 hectare (ha) to 1,03,780 ha along the river Ganga, a meeting of the Empowered Task Force was informed here on Wednesday. "Land for organic farming in Uttarakhand is 50,840 ha, Uttar Pradesh is 42,180 ha, Bihar is 16,060 ha and in Jharkhand is 4,540 ha along the Ganga," the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare informed the Taskforce. The Ministry of Agriculture said that it is also working to ensure that shifting to organic farming also boosts farmer's income, improves water use and crop diversification. "States are also using 'Namami Gange' brand for organic farm produce along the Ganga," it said during the meeting. Minister of State for Jal Shakti Bishweswar Tudu chaired a meeting of the Empowered Task Force that included several central ministries, departments and the state governments for ensuring better coordination and convergence among agencies and programs for holistic rejuvenation of Ganga River and its basin. The Ministries and states provided an update on the recent developments that have taken place and also mapped out their future plans. The Ministry of Tourism noted that the 'Ganga Museum' at Haridwar is now operational while the one at Rishikesh is ready for inauguration and another Museum in Patna has been sanctioned. The Ministry said, it is also working on developing tourists circuits along the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar. A report on architectural, cultural and natural mapping for 38 districts has also been submitted, it added. Among the states, Bihar has committed to promote production and marketing of organic products under their 'State Organic Mission'. Uttar Pradesh is working on promoting organic plantation in urban areas & developing Mandis (outlets) in urban residential colonies to encourage people to buy organic products. Similarly, Uttarakhand has started 20 big and 410 small outlets to promote organic products along Char Dham Yatra route while Jharkhand government said it has started 'Organic Farming Authority of Jharkhand' to promote organic farming in the state especially along the Ganga. Meanwhle West Bengal told the task force that the state has started a massive plantation drive in the Sunderban area. About 15 crore trees will be planted in three districts covering 10,000 acres of land. Tudu said, "Namami Gange is not only a programme for cleaning Ganga but to bring collective consciousness among masses. Hence, all the Central and the state ministries will have to come together under one umbrella to make Ganga 'aviral' and 'nirmal'." /IANS




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