Organic farming to the fore

Thursday, 21 April 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ministry of Agriculture is to encourage more organic farming in the Vavuniya District.

A National Farming Week is also being organised by the Ministry from 20 to 24 July this year in the Vavuniya District at the Agricultural University.

The Ministry will be investing a total of Rs. 5 million to promote organic farming among the farmers here, in addition to conducting an agricultural exhibition and national sports competition.

More awareness will also be created to expand and uplift the local agricultural sector. The focus of the National Farming Week will be to promote agriculture without the use of toxins and other pesticides, thus improving the organic farming practices.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, through promoting the production of organic manure, it is expected to reduce importation of chemical fertilisers by 25% within the next 03 years.

In this regard, field demonstrations will be organised in order to enhance the required knowledge and skills relating to production and the use of organic fertilisers.

Steps will be taken to establish an authority for coordination of all activities for promotion of production and distribution of organic fertiliser as the main component of the National Food Production Drive.

It is necessary to introduce agricultural technologies which would pave the way for increasing production with minimal use of chemical fertilisers and agrochemicals. This could be achieved through introduction and promotion of agricultural technologies such as Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems (IPNS), Integrated Pest management (IPM) and organic farming.

Optimum utilisation and conservation of water and soil is very important as far as the domestic agriculture is concerned. Therefore, action will be taken to increase the efficiency and productivity of water used in irrigation. Moisture conservation and prevention of ground water contamination and soil conservation will be encouraged through community awareness programmes.

Drip irrigation system and rain water harvesting will be promoted with particular attention to introducing solar powered water supply systems.

Farmer organisations will be strengthened to ensure the active participation and contribution towards successful implementation of the National Food Production Campaign while they will also be encouraged to undertake the operation and maintenance of the irrigation system and negotiate for the prices and marketing with the private sector, while farmer societies can undertake the production, input supply and market planning and implementation of the production programme.