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Global meet on organic farming

Ranchi, Oct. 2: Taking a step towards improving agriculture productivity, chief minister Arjun Munda today approved a proposal to organise an international seminar and fest on organic farming on November 8 and 9.

The event, to be conducted jointly by State Horticulture Mission and Organic Farming Authority of Jharkhand, will be held at the academic and research building of RINPAS. Experts from Australia, Austria, Germany and China will take part in the deliberations along with delegates from the countryís premier institutions.

So far, four countries have confirmed their participation at the seminar that will discuss how to add value to available resources in the state and thereby, improve agriculture productivity. State horticulture director Prabhakar Singh maintained that the number of participants from foreign countries might go up.

Kiosks displaying different aspects of organic farming will be put up at the fest, which will witness interactions among manufacturers, processors and bankers.

The chief minister said wide-ranging issues on organic farming would be discussed at the sessions. Storage of organic products and conducive market facilities will be other important agendas.

ďOur government has been giving priority to organic farming in agriculture and horticulture as Jharkhand is better known for its natural products. We stress on minimal use of chemical fertiliser. We have already embarked on organic, spice and medicinal plant mission in over 31,000 hectares. The experiments have been successful. Now we want to involve leading experts in the area,Ē he added.

In fact, Austria has already requested the chief minister to submit reports on assistance his government would want in the fields of agricultural, food technology, green energy, sustainable rural development and such other allied sectors. The Indo-Austrian Forum will be enabling, positioning and implementing the Austrian flagship schemes in different parts of India, including Jharkhand, in 2012-15.

On September 13, 2010, Austria had signed an MoU with India, wherein it was agreed that Austrian flagship schemes related to agriculture and allied sectors would be implemented in India on an experimental basis. If the experiments are successful, large-scale implementations of the schemes will be carried out.

China, Germany, Australia and Israel have also shown interest in Jharkhand. In fact, Munda was supposed to visit Israel in the last week of May, but the programme had to be cancelled following his chopper crash.

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