In a move to prevent environmental degradation, people living in far-flung areas of the Rajouri district have opted for organic farming.

Far-flung areas of Rajouri where organic farming was seen being carried out include Dhangri Block, Keri village of Budhal Block and Sunderbani block. Many of the farmers received a certificate of appreciation from the Jammu and Kashmir administration. An individual named Tilak Raj said received a certificate of merit and cash worth Rs 300 for carrying out and promoting organic farming in the region.

While speaking to ANI, Chief Agricultural Officer of Rajouri Mahesh Verma said, “Far-flung areas of Rajouri like Dhangri Block, Keri village of Budhal Block and Sunderbani block carry out organic farming. We motivate farmers to practice organic farming as it is a form of ‘sustainable agriculture. It helps in improving the water holding capacity of the soil. Also, fruits and vegetables grown organically are well sold in the market.”

A child named Bhargava who was carrying out farming at the Dhangri said, “After finishing my school work, I help my parents carry out organic farming here. Fruits and vegetables grown via organic farming are more healthier than compared to the ones grown with pesticides.”

Yogesh Sharma, another farmer told ANI, “During COVID-19 pandemic, many people resorted to buying organic fruits and vegetables as many thought it is a much healthier option. I believe that fruits and vegetables grown organically helps to boost immunity. During the peak of the lockdown, the business of many local shops was impacted. Also, many people came to us directly to buy these fruits and vegetables.”

Tilak Raj Sharma, “I am practising farming for the last 42 years. For the last 20-22 years, I carry out organic farming. I grow 12-15 fruits and vegetables. Mainly, I grow mangoes, Apricots, Avocados, Kiwis, apples etc. Recently, I started cultivating dragon fruit via a drip irrigation system. I enjoy doing my work.”

The growth story of organic farming is unfolding with increasing demand not only in India but also globally. In a world battered by the COVID pandemic, the demand for healthy and safe food is already showing an upward trend and hence this is an opportune moment to be captured for a win-win situation for our farmers, consumers and the environment.

As per an official release by the Union Agricultural Ministry in August 2020, India ranked first in the number of organic farmers and ninth in terms of area under organic farming. (ANI)