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May 17, 2010

Indian State of Kerala Announces Plan to go All Organic By 2020

The Hindu Business Line reported on 17 May 2010 that the sourthern Indian State of Kerala had officially announced plans to convert all agriculture in the state to organic methods over the next ten years. 

The state plans to accomplish this by encouraging "a compact area group approach" that empowers organic farmers, clubs, and cooperatives.  Kerala announced that the first phase of this plan had been accomplished with the conversion of the first 30,000 hectares. 

The Kerala organic farming policy was officially announced by the Chief Minister, Mr. V.S. Achuthanandan. He noted that the state will make financial assistance available for certification, marketing, as well as soil and water conservation programs.   Kerala Agriculture University and other research institutions will participate with local farmers on this project.

The state has defined organic as agricultural methodologies that use "crop rotation, tree crops, cover crops, leguminous crops and green manure."  This manure should be provided by "cow, buffalo, duck, poultry and goat, preferably [of] traditional breeds.

Separate and decentralised storage facilities for farm produces have to be established to protect their organic integrity and help the farmers in certification processes.  The state government of Kerala states that these "should be addressed with interest-free loans to organic farmers, especially small and marginal farmers from banks that will be subsidised through the Central or State Government."  One last topic that the state will consider in the future is a state-led insurance scheme.

Photo Credit: Tea plantation in Kerala courtesy of Motographer, Flickr

For more see: "30,000 ha to come under organic farming in Kerala," The Hindu Business Line, 17 May 2010.

For related blogs: 

Indian State of Sikkim Announces Plan to be all Organic by 2015, 7 May 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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