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Nabard zonal office to aid organic farming

Guwahati, May 28: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) will set up a Nabcons zonal office in Guwahati to provide consultancy services in organic farming.

Nabcons (Nabard Consultancy Services) is a wholly owned subsidiary promoted by Nabard. Nabcons has the knowhow on cultivation practices under organic farming through alternate eco-friendly technologies like bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides and bio-fuels.

“We will open a zonal office of Nabcons in Guwahati this year to provide consultancy services in organic farming apart from other spheres of agriculture, rural development and allied areas,” Arun Sandilya, chief general manager of Nabard (Assam regional office), told The Telegraph on the sidelines of a seminar on organic farming here today.

Nabcons leverages on the core competence of Nabard in areas of agricultural and rural development, especially multidisciplinary projects, banking, institutional development, infrastructure and training.

“The Nabcons office here will carry out techno-economic feasibility studies, formulate detailed project reports, design and implement projects and monitor and evaluate them. The idea is to make organic farming sustainable by creating an integrated system for having the right technologies, making it economically viable and socially acceptable,” Sandilya said.

The Nabard official said banks, as facilitators of credit, also need to play an important role in organic farming.

“Bankers also need to be sensitised on organic farming as the technicalities of the practice are not known to them. The farmers, on the other hand, have to be made aware of the schemes and subsidies that banks have to offer. A synergy has to be created between the government, banks and research institutions in regard to promoting organic farming,” he said.

Nabard has also involved farmers’ clubs to market their produce across the country.

“We have model schemes for agriculture and rural development but not for organic farming. So in this regard, we will request the agriculture department to come up with schemes through bank loans,” Sandilya said.

“Then again, the schemes have to be formulated to suit local conditions. The government of Assam has been doing its part in regard to tea, pineapples, ginger and turmeric. Likewise, Mizoram and Sikkim are doing well,” he said.

The Nabard official assured farmers of assistance from the regional office. “Our regional office here is there for any help producers might require to take organic farming to the next level,” he said.