Bihar set for Rainbow Revolution: CM

PATNA: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday inaugurated the first-ever three-day international conference on ‘Organic Bihar’ here on Wednesday.

“Bihar is standing at the threshold of Rainbow Revolution which is more holistic than the ill-fated Green Revolution. Bihar’s road map for this revolution will well take care of future needs of environment and human life and also resulting in prosperity for farmers,” Nitish said.

Rainbow Revolution refers to a sustainable agricultural revolution where equal focus is given on minimizing cost of production and increasing produce, environmental impact, and impact of fertilizers on consumers and soil health.

The conference, being attended by agriculture scientists from United States, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Switzerland, saw a lively discussion on various aspects of organic farming in Bihar. The conference is also being attended by 100 and odd farmers.

Referring to the experience of Green Revolution, he said “the states (leading the revolution) exhausted soil fertility. Their soil has got deficient of micro nutrients. Farmers are in the throes of a deep crisis as productivity has gone down heavily due to indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides,” the CM said.

He emphatically said, “Through scientific organic farming, we will change the prevalent notion that food security cannot be achieved without chemical fertilizers.” On the occasion, he also launched an online portal, www.jaibbihar.com, to offer a platform to promote organic produce of Bihar.

The state government will formulate policies on the basis of recommendations made by the delegates at the conference.

To provide a stimulus to Bihar peasants, the government is providing 50% and 75% subsidy to set-up different types of biogas plants, 50% subsidy on bio pesticides and 90% on organic fertilizers.

“Large-scale cultivation of certified organic potatoes in Nalanda has gained international recognition. Organic certification of Muzaffarpur litchis is at an advanced state and the government now plans to bring aromatic rice under organic certification,” the CM, who has earlier served as Union agriculture minister, said.

During the conference, chairman of Gujarat Life Sciences Dr M H Mehta elaborated on food security vis-Ã -vis organic farming. The session, chaired by Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Dr S Ayyappan and co-chaired by agriculture expert Dr A K Singh, also saw Dr. A Thimmaiah, an adviser to the ministry of agriculture and forests, Government of Bhutan, sharing at length Bhutan’s experiences in organic farming. Other speakers also participated in the first session.

In the second technical session, US’ professor of environmental studies Carol Shennam talked at length about soil fertility management in organic farming system. Organic farming expert from Zimbabwe, Tavagwisa Muziri explained nutrient recycling in organic farming. Some other experts talked about pest management for better yield in organic farming.

In the last session too, recommendations and suggestions for adopting holistic organic farming methods to make farmers earn more with less investment, make organic farming sustainable, and to provide a platform to promote organic farming were made.

Bihar agriculture minister Narendra Singh expressed confidence that Bihar will lead the next Green Revolution in the country. “Organic fertilizer has been distributed free among more than 3.30 lakh seed growing farmers in 2010-11,” the minister said, adding “other farmers will be provided 90% subsidy on the purchase of organic fertilizer.”

Source: TOI

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