The need to formulate a State policy on organic farming and a road map for implementing it was highlighted at a national paddy festival held here on Saturday.
Delivering the presidential address at the function organised jointly by CREATE Trust in association with SASTRA, Deemed to be University, CREATE chairman P. Duraisingam welcomed the discussion on evolving a State policy on organic farming at the top-level of the administration. The policy must be framed as early as possible and implemented taking into consideration the interest shown by consumers and cultivators to diversify to organic farming, he said.
He also called upon the State government to drop the proposal to supply fortified rice through PDS. Instead, the government could opt for decentralised procurement of traditional paddy varieties and make it available to the public and to nutritious meal scheme beneficiaries.
Such a measure would also help traditional paddy variety cultivators, who were using organic farming methods and finding it difficult to market their produce, Mr. Duraisingam added.
Speaking on the occasion, Sathya, professor, Department of Biotechnology, SASTRA, gave a brief note on the traditional paddy varieties and their nutritional and medicinal properties. Varieties such as `Garudan samba’, `athur kichali samba’ and `karunguravai’ had low glycemic index, she added.
Claiming that students were showing interest in taking up research work on traditional paddy varieties, Karthikeyan, professor, Department of Botany, Thyagaraja College, Madurai, said the results of such research work were encouraging and useful to farmers.