The Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department has proposed to raise 100 percent organic farm clusters in three villages in the Ramanathapuram district to create awareness among the farmers about organic farming and organic certification process.
Giving details of the scheme at a programme organised in Ramanathapuram recently, SS Shaiek Abdullah, Assistant Director of seed certification, said the clusters would come up in 50 acres each in Peraiyur in Kamuthi, Muthuvijayapuram in Mudukulathur and Mummudisathan in Nainarkoil blocks. Five farmers have come forward to grow organic crops by following the stipulated procedures and under the direct supervision of the department officials, he said adding the farmers were given the option of selecting the crops. Officials after periodically inspecting the farms and checking the records would issue organic certificates to the farmers, he added. These farmers were among the 40 farmers who participated in the awareness programme, organised by the Agriculture Technology Marketing Agency (ATMA) in coordination with the Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department at Dharani Agro Research and Rural Empowerment Foundation’s (DARE) organic farm at Ettivayal, near the disitrict headquarters.
Dharani R. Murugesan, chairman of the Foundation, the only organic certificate holder in the district and Hussain, an expert in organic farming from Dindigul, shared their field experiences and explained the methodologies to be adopted.
Murugesan, who displayed the varieties of organic and organic value added products such as oil, flour, traditional rice and millet varieties, said farmers who grown organic products could sell them through DARE Foundation if they face problem in marketing.
Joint Director, Agriculture, R Harivasan, Deputy Director, Horticulture, S Tamil Vendhan, Deputy Director, Agriculture (Central schemes) Ramasamy Pandian, Personal Assistant to Collector (Agriculture) P. Raja, Assistant Director, quality control, S Kanniah and Indian Bank chief manager K. Mathiazhagan were among others who addressed the farmers.