There is an increasing demand for organic products as consumers have become health conscious and specific about what they eat which in turn has given a boost to organic farming. To thus strengthen the cultivation of food the organic way, a two-day organic mela was inaugurated on Saturday. The mela was jointly organised by Department of Agriculture in association with Zilla Panchayat.
The mela served as a platform for horticulturists and agriculturists to exhibit and sell their produce to customers and create awareness among the latter about organic food. Framers from neighbouring villages participated in the mela. More than 40 stalls selling a variety of millets, crops and agri products were on display. All the produce have been grown the organic way with ZERO use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, also no preservatives have been used.
Farmers from seven taluks in Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Mandya districts could be spotted selling seeds, fruits, honey, vegetables. The medicinal values of honey have also been highlighted at the mela. The exhibition-cum-sale of organic products is on at the venue.
Inaugurating the programme District In-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad urged farmers to take up organic farming and promote a healthy life. This mela is a unique platform for both buyers and sellers. Thus there is a need to create awareness among the consumers about organic products.
He noted that while one section of people bought organic products despite its cost, a larger section of the people owing to its cost were discouraged to bus food grown organically. The minister said that buyers should focus on health and not the cost.
The minister said that the state government has been supportive towards farmers taking up organic cultivation.
The government has allocated Rs 46 crore exclusively to promote organic farming and Rs 10 crore to benefit organisations with a stress on organic farming. There are 14 Regional Organic Farmers’ Associations in the state. Around 53, 800 beneficiaries have been involved in organic farming on 63,600 hectares of land. There is a growing demand for organic products, he added.
Initiatives should also be taken to stabilise demand and production of agri products, he added.
Chairman Mysuru Urban Development Authority K R Mohan Kumar, MLA M K Somashekar, Joint Director Department of Agriculture M Mahanteshappa, representatives from various organic organisations, NGOs and others were present.