Technology Development through research
Rapid developments in organic farming promotion necessitated continuous flow of technology to meet day-to-day challenges. As a result, organic research in the state was started with the consultancy services of International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) Bangalore, and FiBL, Switzerland, from the year 2010. Research experimentation has already started in Bermiok (South Sikkim) and the programme will continue for 3 years. The package of practices for organic system of cultivation will be developed for 5 major crops that have huge potential for organic market. These crops are ginger, turmeric, chillies, corn and mustard. In this matter, a MoU has been signed with Managing Director ICCOA, Bangalore for technology intervention with development of organic package of practices (For MoU, see Annexure III).
Organic Seed Production
To ensure availability of locally-adapted high-quality seeds, indigenous seed production technology is being promoted through ‘Seed Village Scheme’. As a result, the quantity of locally-produced seed has increased from 297q in 2004-05 to 945q in 2008-09. Area under high-yielding varieties has also increased from 20,000 ha to more than 26,000 ha over the same period. A MoU has been signed with National Seeds Corporation (NSC) and Zuari Seed Company to produce hybrid seeds of maize in the Seed Production Farms of the State. Intensive efforts were made to create adequate mechanization infrastructure for post-harvest operations such as threshing, processing, packaging and storage etc.
Soil Health Assessment
To evaluate the fertility status of the fields in respect of N,P,K, organic matter and pH to predict the probability of obtaining a profitable response to lime and organic manures and to provide soil health cards to all farmers, massive campaign was undertaken during last six years for assessing soil health through soil testing.
The State has well equipped soil testing facility with an annual capacity of 10,000 soil sample analysis. During the six years, more than 46,993 soil samples were analysed and more than 46,000 soil health cards were issued (Table 5). Two mobile soil testing vans equipped with latest instruments are also operating in the state.
Table : Number of soil samples tested and soil health cards issued
|Year||No of soil samples tested||No of soil health cards issued|