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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sale of Biofarming Products Banned in Haryana

Sale of biofarming products banned
Natural farming need of the hour, says DG (Agriculture)
Sunit Dhawan / TNS
Gurgaon, June 28

In a curious move, the Haryana Government has prohibited the sale of bioproducts, plant-growth promoters, regulators and biozymes etc in the state.

On May 17, AK Yadav, Director-General of Agriculture, shot off a letter to the managements of 18 companies selling such products, asking them to withdraw their products from the market.

The letter points out that the aforesaid products are not covered under any Act/orders/rules of the central or state government and no standards have so far been developed to analyze/verify their efficacy and/or performance. Besides, there is no legal regime in place to prosecute the manufacturers supplying spurious products, it adds.

Copies of the letter have also been sent to all Deputy Directors (Agriculture) in the state for compliance.

Yadav told The Tribune today that certain companies had earlier been granted permission to sell their products in the state for a limited period.

“The companies whose time limit/permission had expired have been told to withdraw their products while the remaining ones have been issued show-cause notices to present their cases within a stipulated time,” he maintained.

On being asked whether this would not be detrimental to the prospects of organic farming or promote the use of chemical fertilisers, Yadav replied in the negative.

“We have been making all-out efforts to minimise the use of chemical fertilisers by encouraging natural farming practices, including sowing dhencha to serve as green manure after being ploughed back into fields and sowing summer moong and kharif moong during the months when farmland is largely lying unutilised,” he said.

The DG (Agriculture) observed that apart from providing financial support to farmers, these varieties of moong also helped in nitrogen fixation due to which no urea is required in the subsequent crop sown in the field.

Yadav said the concept of summer moong had been taken well by farmers as 40,000 hectares had already been dedicated to the crop. Many farmers of the paddy belt, who had been barred from growing sathi variety of paddy (as it requires huge quantities of water), have now found a viable alternative in summer moong.

“We are upbeat at the encouraging response to summer moong and now target to bring 1 lakh hectares under this crop in the next season,” he said, adding that arhar and guar would be the next intermediate crops to be advised to farmers for cultivation.

It may also be pertinent to mention here that the government provides a subsidy of 50 per cent on summer moong and 90 per cent on dhencha.

In response to another query, Yadav asserted that the state authorities, in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), had gone in for fertility-mapping of soil to know the exact level/deficiency of various minerals/micronutrients.


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