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People living in far-flung areas of the Rajouri district near the border have taken up organic farming, especially vegetables, and boosted their incomes after facing tough times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people who lost their jobs to the covid-19 pandemic took training from us and began organic farming and are now earning a good livelihood. We are doing organic farming here are giving livelihood to others as well,” said Kartik Shama, an organic farmer while talking to ANI.

The farmers of the Keri Doongi block in the Rajouri district are growing organic vegetables like cucumber, chili, ladyfinger, bitter gourd, etc, and selling them. They do not use urea or other chemical fertilizers.

“We live in a border area. After doing organic farming for some time, we switched to growing organic vegetables. We have stopped using urea in farming. So now the diseases are reducing in the village after consuming these organic vegetables,” said Kartik Shama, a farmer.
“If you grow maize in a land, you can get six to seven quintal maize and you can earn Rs.10, 000- 20,000, but if you are growing vegetables at the same land, then you can earn there to four times of what you are earning by growing maize,” added Kartik.

Rakesh Khajuria, Department Agriculture Expert, “I am here to spread information regarding growing organic vegetables. My responsibility is as a vegetable expert. I help the farmers who face problems in growing veggies. If any farmer wants new information regarding growing vegetables or facing technical difficulties, then I help those farmers.”.

Mohammad Bashir, a local said,” We earn our livelihood from selling vegetables. Every house here in the village grows and sells vegetables. If there is no work at least they have work of growing vegetables.”

Sanjana Sharma, a farmer said, “We live near the border. Our educational expenses come from selling these vegetables. There is a lot of demand for organic vegetables as these are natural and good for health. There is no side effect. People here prefer to buy vegetables from our market”.

Rajat Sharma, a farmer said, “We sell vegetables from our doorstep. We are earning a livelihood and taking care of ourselves and earn Rs 2000 to 2500 per day.”
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)