GUWAHATI, June 17 - The State Government has identified 10 clusters across nine districts of Assam for implementation of the Centrally-sponsored Mission Organic Value Chain Development for the north-eastern region (MOVCD).
Officials told this newspaper that the nine districts where areas having feasibility of organic farming have been selected are Golaghat, Nalbari, Kokrajhar, Kamrup Metro, Sonitpur, Majuli, Dhemaji, Cachar and Chirang.
The target is to cover 5,000 hectares of farmland and 5,000 farmers under the scheme.
Sources said that Butikar in Dhemaji, Pokajora in Majuli and Kaziranga in Golaghat are clusters selected for red rice cultivation under the MOVCD, while an area in Kaziranga cluster will also be for black rice.
Podumpathar in Golaghat, Sonapur in Kamrup Metro, Titaguri in Kokrajhar and Panbari in Chirang have been selected for ginger and turmeric.
Bihaguri cluster of Sonitpur district has been specified for okra and ridge gourd, along with ginger cultivation.
Lakhipur cluster of Cachar district has been selected for pineapple.
“The farmers of the clusters will be organised in self help groups and they will be registered under the Society Registration Act as Farmer Producer Companies. The farmer growers will also be certified as organic growers so that their produces may be marketed as certified organic and for better marketing of the organic products branding, labelling, value addition and processing facilities will be created,” said Mowsam Hazarika, Assistant Director of Agriculture (Horticulture, Crop Insurance & FMC).
The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare had launched MOVCD during the 12th Plan period (2012-17) to tap the organic potential in the north-eastern region.
The main objectives were to develop crop commodity specific organic value chain and address gaps in organic crop production, wild crop harvesting, organic livestock management and processing handling and marketing of organic agricultural products by developing crop specific organic production clusters with necessary infrastructural, technical and financial support by facilitating partnerships between farmers and organic businesses. It is intended to help the farmers by providing enabling environment for project initiatives and development programmes with necessary support for organic value chain development and by creating market access, besides by providing brand building and marketing access to products from the this region.