SHILLONG: 3rd April 2023 (PTI Source)
Meghalaya's government has recently adopted the "Meghalaya State Organic and Natural Farming Policy 2023" with the aim of transforming the state into a “national leader in organic farming.” As of now, 15,000 hectares of land in Meghalaya are already certified organic, with an additional 2,000 hectares in the process of certification.
The Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, recently announced that the government has allocated Rs 25 crore for the ambitious project, which will be launched next financial year through the state organic mission.The aim is to expand the area certified for organic farming to 100,000 hectares over the next 5 years.
In addition to promoting organic farming, the government is also working to provide decentralized agri-marketing support to farmers. The government is working with a network of five-hundred collectives, including farmer producer organizations, cooperative societies, and village organizations to market agricultural produce and protect farmers against price fluctuations.
At each production cluster, a collective marketing center comprising an aggregation facility that also acts as a mini-processing area is being constructed and handed over to a local collective.
Collectives are offered up to Rs 50 lakh of interest-free working capital loans to purchase crops from farmers directly. As of now, approximately 200 collective marketing centers are established in various clusters producing potatoes, turmeric, ginger, pepper, cashew nut, areca nut, and broom grass. The goal is to reinforce the 200 existing collective marketing centers and create an additional 200 centers during the upcoming fiscal year.