Patna: In a move to promote organic farming in Bihar, more than 20,000 farmers were on Saturday provided agriculture input interim subsidy of Rs 6,000 each directly in their accounts for cultivating organic vegetables.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, launching a software for advance payment of agriculture input subsidy, first time in the country, said a pilot project to promote organic vegetable farming had been started in the state.
The government has selected 20,173 farmers in four districts of Patna, Nalnda, Vaishali and Samastipur, and provided each of them Rs 6,000 directly in their bank accounts through e-cash facility.
Kumar reiterated his government's commitment to promote organic farming in the state as part of the third phase of Bihar's Agriculture Road Map (2017-22) that will focus on increasing income of farmers, among other things.
He said the road map's main focus was ensuring sustainable development of the agriculture sector by emphasing on organic farming through development of organic corridors.
"Organic farming is one of the focus areas of the agriculture road map. We will promote organic farming and help farmers opt for it in areas along the river Ganga for protection of environment," he said.
Kumar pointed out that 76 per cent of Bihar's population was dependent on agriculture for livelihood.
He claimed that Bihar had recorded growth and improvement in the agriculture sector since the first agriculture road map was implemented for 2008-12, followed by the second for 2012-17. "Our rice, wheat, maize, potato and vegetables production have remarkably increased."
The Chief Minister has repeatedly said that he wanted to have one or two agriculture products from the state on the plate of every Indian in the coming years.
Agriculture is the backbone of Bihar's economy, employing 81 per cent of the workforce and generating nearly 42 per cent of the state's domestic product, according to the state government figures.