Consultation on ‘Organic Food and Farming for All’

Jaipur, October 16, 2013

Civil Society organization CUTS International organized a State Level Stakeholder Consultation on ‘Organic Food and Farming for All’ here at Hotel Jaipur Palace. The consultation was organized to advocate for a shift in policy towards organic consumption and production.

It is to be noted that CUTS organized Green Action Week (GAW) 2014 campaign in partnership with Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

Varidhi Singh, Project Officer, CUTS through a presentation briefed that the theme of the global campaign for this year is ‘Organic Food and Farming for All’. The aim of the campaign is to highlight problems associated with use of pesticides in farming and to drive consumer awareness and demand for food that is produced using alternative techniques not damaging to the health of consumers. She further said that under the campaign Cottage Meetings, Signature Campaign, Street Plays were organized in the city during month of September. The Consultation was organized marking the conclusion of the Campaign.

Mr. George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS welcoming the guests cited some examples saying that there are 140% more pesticides than the allowed limit in fruits such as Apple and Orange. He said that locations such as Amanishah Nallah are supplying vegetables with toxic components which constitute 20% of consumption in the city and is continuing even after the High Court order. It was also said that we as individuals can do our bit by doing Kitchen Gardening or Backyard Farming of organic produce.

As special guest of the programme, Shri Sheetal Prasad Sharma, Additional Director (NMOOP), Department of Agriculture, Govt of Rajasthan briefed about the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture and Sub-Mission under that on Organic Agriculture. He said that the department had received first installment of Rs. 125 Crore for promotion of organic farming. He emphasized that gaps in the organic value chain need to be addressed.

General Manager, Nabard, Mr. R. A. Mishra shared his experience of working on the issues through Farmer Clubs and briefed on the initiatives by Nabard such as credit schemes for organic cultivation.

Dr. K. Ram Krishna, Director of Research, SKN Agriculture University, Jobner through a presentation said that there are serious health concerns due to polluted environment, unsafe Drinking Water (presence of Nitrite affecting Kidney, causing Cancer and Respiratory Diseases) and Food (due to pesticides affecting Liver, Kidney and causing Cardiac problems). He also said that Children and workers involved in mixing and applying pesticides are especially vulnerable to diseases due to pesticides.

Mr. Sanjay Jhala, Dy. Director, Department of Food & Consumer Affairs, linked the need of organic farming and consumption with the traditional values and emphasized on adopting good moral values.

As part of the event, a panel discussion was also held in which the experts from different agencies participated including Dr. S.S. Rathore, Incharge, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Chomu, Dr. A.C. Shivran, Prof. of Agronomy, SKN Univ. of Agriculture and Mr. Satyaveer Beniwal, DGM, Morarka Foundation.

Amarjeet Singh, Project Coordinator, CUTS summed up the discussions and proposed vote of thanks to all.

For further details, please contact:
Dharmendra Chaturvedi
CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS CART)
D-218, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302 016
Phone: 0141-5133259, 2282821, 9414202868