ONGC has partnered with Ekalavya Centre for Organic Agriculture Research and Training (ECOART), Gingurthi village, Tandur Mandal, District Vikarabad, Telangana to support organic farming as a part of its CSR initiative. As a part of this novel initiative, ONGC would construct the Administrative Block and Student dormitories at the ECOART with a financial support of over Rs 4 crore.
ONGC through this partnership with ECOART will ensure promotion of organic farming and help attain healthy soil and healthy food for the people at large. It will also promote education and livelihood generation for the youth.
Handing over the cheque, DD Misra, Director, HR , ONGC said that this project envisioned by Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, will help promote organic farming. This CSR project of ONGC is likely to benefit about 3500 farmers, 200 students and consumers in general by way of promoting organic farming.
The foundation stone laying ceremony was held in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Labour and Employmen Minister Bandaru Dattatreyaji and Lok Sabha Member K Vishweshwar Reddy and other Telangana state dignitaries.
In organic farming, Telangana is among leading states. According to a report on Organic Farming by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), in 2015-16 there were 300 organic clusters in Telangana under Centrally Sponsored Scheme Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY). In 2016-17, the state exported 3511 Metric Tonnes (MT) worth Rs 4048 crore under National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). Nearly 500 hactare falls under Participatory Guarantee System which supports export of organic produce from Telangana.
According to the ICRIER Report, organic food market is growing currently at a rate of 14 percent and is expected to rise to 20 percent in the next five years. The farmers need support in the forms of subsidised inputs of good quality, better input availability, and training from the State Governments. Farmers also expect a uniform method of certification, faster land certification and crop insurance in terms of assistance from the Central Government.
It is evident that Telangana excels in traditional farming which can accelerate the growth of organic sector. The state needs couple of success stories. If farmers get better unit realisation value, many will emulate it. Seeds and availability of planting material is the most limiting factor in organic agriculture. With support from the state government and public sector undertaking such as ONGC, Telgangana can easily take on the challenges of organic farming sector.