Bhopal, 19th August 2016.
The XI Annual Group Meeting of Network Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) was organized at Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal between 17 and 19 August 2016. Prof. M. Premjit Singh (Vice Chancellor, Central Agricultural University, Imphal) inaugurated the XI Annual Group Meeting of Network Project on ‘Organic Farming’, and highlighted the importance of organic farming in niche areas and crops along with important issues such as insect, disease and weed infestation under organic farming. Prof. Singh also urged to develop insect, disease resistant varieties for organic farming and promote the organic farming using farming systems approach with inclusion of the livestock. Dr S. Bhaskar (ADG, AAF & CC) highlighted the importance of the organic farming and said that organic farming is a climate resilient production system and it should be promoted particularly in rainfed and hill ecology. Dr Bhaskar stated that outcome of the group meeting will be highly useful for researchers, policy makers and organic growers.Dr Ashok Kumar Patra (Director,Indian Institute of Soil Science) informed that THIS Institute has developed composting techniques which are part of organic farming.
Dr A.S. Panwar (Director, Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research, Modipuram) highlighted that presently 16 states are covered through NPOF and 666 practising organic farmers have been studied during the year for understanding the constraints of organic growers.Besides, these, Dr Panwar also highlighted that best performing varieties under organic farming for 20 crops have been identified and Integrated Organic Farming System (IOFS) models have been developed at Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu which promises to increase the income by 2 to 3 times and meet inputs up to 85-90 % within the farm. Dr Panwar emphasized on time bound implementation of approved research programmes by all the co-operating centres. In the first two days, review of on-going programmes and modification of technical programme was taken up beside a round table discussion on researchable issues in IOFS. On 19 August 2016, interface meeting of NPOF and selected AICRP on IFS centres with Directorate of Weed Research, Jabalpur was held to discuss the issues related to weed management under organic farming. Based on the deliberations, an experiment on weed management under organic farming was formulated which will be implemented at NPOF and selected AICRP on IFS centres.
Dr Balraj Singh (Vice Chancellor, Rajasthan Agriculture University, Jodhpur) informed that organic farming is gaining momentum in India mainly due to soil, livestock and human health concerns and he appreciated the presentation of recommendations of the group meeting in four categories such as technologies for up-scaling, policy, research and general issues. Based on the overall performance, Coimbatore (TNAU) centre of NPOF was selected as best centre and a certificate were issued in the plenary session.