Of the total 38 lakh hectares of natural farming across India, 17.31 lakh hectares is under cultivation in Madhya Pradesh alone, state’s farmer welfare and agriculture minister told a meeting chaired by Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar recently.
Agriculture ministers of other states were part of the meeting as well. Patel told the meeting that close to half of the total area under cultivation of natural farming is in Madhya Pradesh making it the the leader amongst other states. Madhya Pradesh has set a target of adding another one lakh hectare this year and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has constituted a natural agriculture development board, Patel said.
Taking a cue from the Union budget proposal of encouraging chemical-free farming along the Ganga, the state government in February decided to carry out natural farming along the Narmada, which is considered as the lifeline of the state.
The decision was taken at a meeting of ministers and top bureaucrats chaired by the chief Minister. It was decided that a special campaign be launched to promote natural farming on a 5-km stretch on both sides of the Narmada.
On April 26, a decision was taken to constitute the ‘Madhya Pradesh Natural Agriculture Development Board’ as an independent organisation with the financial assistance of the state government to increase the spread of natural farming in Madhya Pradesh. The move also aimed at encouraging and guiding farmers to take up natural farming. An apex body headed by the chief minister and a task force under the chairmanship of the chief secretary will be constituted at the state level for monitoring and review of the Madhya Pradesh Natural Agriculture Development Board, the government decided in the meeting.