Officials of the Department of Horticulture in Mysore are planning to transform the vegetable yard on Hunsur Road into a modern Organic Service Center. The officials have hold talks with MUDA for handing over the lands for this purpose.
Director of Horticulture Department, Dr K Ramakrishnappa said that: 'If they two acres of land is handed over Center can be opened, where all relevant information about seeds, organic cultivation, marketing and any other assistance required by farmers taking up organic cultivation will be provided freely at this Center.
Steps will be taken to collect and store seeds of extinct varieties, on the lines of 'seed bank' for future generations. Exhibitions will be organised every month at the center which is bound to attract farmers even from neighbouring States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, he added.
He was speaking at an interaction meeting held with farmers at the Seed Mela expo held in city on Sunday. Continuing further he informed that seeds that yield fruits for a long term will be made available for farmers in coming days and terrace gardening will be extended to hobli level.
Three outlets exclusively selling organic products will be opened in the city under Jaivika Krushika Society, a State Government undertaking, within the next few days. The Society is striving to provide a direct link between consumers and farmers. This is bound to attract middle and poor class people in large numbers who are presently not purchasing organic products, citing it as expensive , he added.
'By gathering all like minded farmers, a group will be constituted, where one farmer will certify another farmer in the locality whether he is growing crops organically or not. So far the Certification was done by private parties, but with the launch of new method farmers can mutually certify themselves. Dr K Ramakrishnappa said they hope to launch the programme very soon that will help a large number of farmers.
Future plans of the Department includes introduction of a Desi Seed Bank at Taluk level, promoting farmers to market directly even in places where tribals reside.
Herbal garden for tribals
Tribals will be tied up with a herbal marketing company which will be launched in HD Kote shortly. It helps tribals to generate income as they will be trained to cultivate and harvest herbs as required by the company. Apart from this seeds of pulses and rare millet’s will be provided for them for cultivation and steps will be taken to distribute saplings of spices and fruits.
Farmers from all across the State took part in the meet. They were seen discussing their problems with the officials. The farmers enquired about supportive prices offered by the government and marketing issues and requested them to provide training to tribals to harvest and cultivate herbal and medicinal plants, arrange field visits to farmers engaged in organic farming and also distribute seeds for village women folk which they make sapling and distribute to farmers, amongst various others.