IMPHAL | Jan 5
The first exclusive fully air-conditioned organic shop in the North East ‘Organic Outlet’ that was inaugurated on November 20 last is moving on the path success. Department of horticulture and soil conservation is putting immense effort for the promotion of organic products inside and outside the states including abroad.
The Organic Outlet was opened under Mission Organic Chain Development for North East (MOVCD-NER), launched by ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare with the vision of promoting organic farming in the entire North East. It is opened at the directorate of horticulture and soil conservation, Sanjenthong.
Project officer of Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) K. Devadutta Sharma told Imphal Free Press “as of now we have around 200 registered costumers who are the regular buyers and on an average Rs. 4000-5000 is the daily income from this outlet. Lack of awareness about the benefit of organic product could be the undeniable reason of paying less attention in these products. And the products are yet to be certified which is mandatory for export.”
He continued that it is not easy to reach this level. This project was started two years ago and for this 5000 organic farmers were selected from hills and valley districts.
The outlet is not directly controlled by the department. An interconnected group of people are involved. He described this complex steps as “according to norms of central government state league agency under the Manipur Co-operative registration act has to be form and hence MOMA was formed.”
The main role of MOMA is to select service providers who are well verse in organic farming, formation of farmers cluster, guiding farmers, certification procedure, expertise in internal control management system and formation of Farmers Producer Company (FPC), he added.
So far four service providers were already selected and they are the one who directly select the farmers and take full responsibilities of farmers from beginning till the end, he stated.
“Every farmer needs to have at least 1 hectare of land. And for valley their land should be located in the elevated or upland area while for hilly region it should be near highways. Both in hilly and valley a cluster of farmers should be formed that consist of at least 20-25 people.”
The selected 5000 farmers where divided into 10 groups of Farmers Producer Company (FPC) that consist of 500 farmers each. Of these 10 FPC, 4 are functioning in four valley districts and produce only aromatic black rice while the remaining FPC operates in 6 hilly districts under the jurisdiction of only horticulture crops, he explained.
The ministry had sanctioned sum amount of money every year. With this 5000 farmers had made to open bank accounts so that Rs. 2 crores sanctioned by the Centre every year from last two years may get through direct benefit transfer.
After putting so much of hard work and dedication, these 10 FPC is successfully producing pineapple, king chilli, ginger, thai guava, pea, turmeric, lemon. But this Organic Outlet didn’t focus only to local product. One can also get organic product produce from other states.
Underscoring the reason of not being able to export despite having huge demands he said “it usually takes three years to get the final certification as organic products from National Programme for Organic Product.
“Our project is only two years old. By next year the produces would be certified. Once it is certified there is a big hope of booming economy of farmers and states as well,” he said.
He said all the organic produces of Manipur can be marketted in any part of India as these already got certification from participatory guarantee system, he added.
He said “just to make our society a healthy one in every sphere including health, environment, soil and so on, we take up this endeavour. Our main responsibility is to connect between farmers with consumers by opening a market.”
After analysing the steps that is being taken up by central government for the promotion of organic products in North Eastern states, IFP observed that if our state government give some interest and take some initiative in the undergoing organic project instead of just relying on central government plan the success rate would be higher. Everyone is well aware that Sikkim got the title of organic state in January 2016 before implementation of MOVCD-NER.