Promoting Organic Farming and bringing back what was a ‘default’ mode for Northeast India is a good initiative by the Government of India. We hear news on and off about new programs being launched. What kind of commitment is the Government making? One indicator would be the budget allocations.
What is the Budget Allocation for Promoting Organic farming in Northeast India?
We bring you figures of the budget allocations for promoting organic farming in the northeast India, both from the Union Budgets of India for 2015-16 and for 2014-15. The numbers will speak for themselves.
- In the Union Budget of India for 2014-2015, an allocation of Rs. 100 crores (Rs. 1 billion) was made in developing organic farming in Northeast India.
- Of this, Rs. 14 crores (Rs. 140 million) was for Meghalaya, as per a news report we saw online, which is 14% of the total funds allotted to NE for promoting organic farming. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mr. Mukul Sangma felt that this sum was inadequate.
- In the Union Budget for 2015-16, the allocation for NE region, for promoting organic farming, has gone up by 30%, to Rs. 131 crores (Rs. 1.31 billion)
- We do not have the figures of what part of Rs. 131 crores goes to Meghalaya, but if we assume a similar %age as for the previous financial year, then Meghalaya could have been allotted around Rs. 19 crores (Rs. 190 million) to promote organic farming in 2015-16.
- The Union Budget for 2015-16 also talks of a new programme to push organic farming, to be called “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana”, with an initial allocation of Rs. 300 crores (Rs. 3 billion) for the country. Our calculation shows that Meghalaya has a budget of Rs. 18.4 million over three years under this scheme.
Here is the above information presented pictorially
Looking at the budget allocation, is there any doubt that the Government of India is promoting Organic farming?
Intent is Good for Promoting Organic Farming – What are the Ground Realities?
- How will the budget resources be used? What are the plans?
- How will farmers know and make use of these plans and programs?
These are questions for which we are looking for answers.
The vision of Zizira is to support the development of natural agricultural products from the Northeast of India in a way that sparks a movement. So that farmers get better returns and the hidden agricultural potential of this pristine region comes to the fore.
A report of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on Northeast India points out an important fact:
Unless the agriculture in the region is made remunerative the agrarian economy shall be shattered thereby increasing rural poverty (Section 4.1.4 of Vision 2025 document of ICAR)
To work towards this end we are trying to understand the challenges farmers in the Northeast are facing – through field visits. We will focus on Meghalaya to begin with, as we are familiar with this State.
Questions we have are:
Are the farmers getting adequate compensation?
How do the farmers reach their produce to the market?
Are the farmers of NE India aware of the many opportunities that exists for them?
Do people from other States of India and abroad know about the rich agricultural heritage of the Northeast India?
Is enough known about the high quality organic spice and produce that is grown in Meghalaya and other Northeast States?
More questions than answers! A good way to start a journey of discovery and learning, don’t you think? If you have information on any of these, please share them with us.
Zizira is working on bringing select produce of Northeast of India to you through an eCommerce portal.
Hygienically packaged, curcumin rich, healthy lakadong turmeric; or crunchy and healthy dehydrated pineapple, strawberry or banana ‘chips’ are some of the products shortlisted. Want to know more? Contact us.