Farming enthusiasts from different parts of the district took part in a workshop conducted by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s Madurai Agri Business Incubation Forum (NABARD-MABIF) here on Sunday to learn about latest trends in organic farming.
Chief Executive Officer of NABARD-MABIF P. Sivakumar said that the meeting was held to dispel the popular belief that organic farming could not be profitable. In his address, the officer said that any farmer who wanted to start organic farming could approach his team. “We will teach you the basics, help form a company and ensure that your products reach the weekly market,” he said. He said the main aim of the programme was to form organic clusters. MABIF would eventually help in building a business model where there could be decentralised production, centralised processing and decentralised marketing.
A farmer, Gnana Prakasam from Pudukottai, who has been practising organic farming for many years, spoke about the importance of trees. “Trees are free air-conditioners. We do not really need to begin the process of afforestation. If we protect our existing trees, we can easily sustain mankind,” he said. He also emphasised the importance of rainwater harvesting in all households.
Other sessions that followed included a lecture about soil conservation by Sevuga Perumal, Chief Editor, Naveena Velanmai magazine. He handed out small packs and explained the various types of soil.
Agricultural Engineer X. Britto Raj from Dindigul spoke about the need for water conservation and urged people to make use of schemes offered by the State government, particularly pertaining to rainwater harvesting. “Water scarcity is real and most irrigation tanks are dry. People must be prudent about water usage,” he said.
Agricultural Officer of Tamil Nadu Organic Certification Department L. Narayanamoorthy explained the process of obtaining organic certification and addressed the queries raised by participants regarding soil, seeds and bio pest control.