Bio Villages Programme-Creating a role model for adaption to organic farming

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A Bio-village is an organic and sustainable model village which will evolve into an eco tourism village. This programme helps to improve physical, chemical and biological condition of soil through locally available organic inputs and production of crops through scientific methods by farmers at village level. It includes various technological and livelihood interventions, along with integration of government schemes.

In Bio-village programme, some villages are selected from different blocks of different districts in the state. And the farmers in those villages are trained for adaption to organic farming. The prime task is to make farmers aware about the adoption of bio-farming through a series of workshops, training and demonstration programmes.

The main theme of Bio-village programme is to use bio-ferrtilizers like vermicompost to reclaim the soil which is damaged due to heavy doses of chemical fertilizers and also using of bio-pesticides and microbial pesticides to control pest problems that have been multiplied due to the overuse of inorganic pesticides. The Bio-village programme helps to lower cost of production by reducing the cost of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, increase fertility and check degradation of soi.

The Agriculture department has decided to carry out the bio-village programme on a shoe string budget. For this, it has submitted a proposal to the finance department, asking for just Rs. 1 crore for each year, from 2009-10 to 2011-12. The money has been sought to provide training to farmers and supplying bio-inputs to them at subsidized rates or free of cost. Most of the areas are already inflicted with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. As cultivation with organic inputs cannot be initiated overnight in those areas, the process starts with the implementation of cultivation with bio-inputs.

A senior official of the agriculture department encourages cultivation with bio-inputs and also recommended for separate marketing outlets to help farmers in getting right price for those type produces. The main problem to execute bio-village programme is shortage of manpower at the government level.

In Madhya Pradesh, use of Agro-chemicals for growing crops is strictly prohibited in 1565 villages selected from 313 blocks of 48 districts in the state. Resource of nutrients to the crops in these villages are green manuring, composts, phosphor-composts, fermented preparations prepared from cow dung and urine etc. And pests are controlled by using Neem and cow urine based fermented preparations. A model Gau-Shala has been establishment at Govt. Agri. Farm PHANDA Dist.-BHOPAL.

The west Bengal government is keen to spread organic cultivation. Upto 2007-08, 75 bio-villages have been set up across the state. There was plan to set up another 64 villages in 2008-09. In these villages, farmers are trained on the proper use of bio pesticides and use of microbes and parasites against prevalent pests and plant diseases.

In domestic niche markets and export markets, demand for organically grown crops is on the rise. Bihar is strong in production of high quality crops which are suitable for organic production. Government of Bihar has taken up several programmes to encourage organic farming to encourage organic farming, with the objective of promoting sustainable production, improving soil organic carbon for sustenance of soil quality and promoting export of quality organic produce.

In Pondicherry, a workshop was inaugurated on ‘Bio-Village Programme’ organized by MSSRF (M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation). Bio-Village programme was implemented in three villages and was later expanded to 19 more villages. After that, the project had come to be known as ‘Pondicherry Model of Sustainable Human Development’ and Become a mass movement. Dr. K. V. Raman of the foundation, presenting a report, said Pondicherry could emerge as a hunger-free state, if the bio-village programme is successfully extended to all villages in the Union Territory. Based on the principles in ‘Agenda 21’ of the Rio de Janeiro UN conference on environment and development, Pondicherry could emerge as a model state in sustainable economic development.

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