It can be safely said that agriculture is the prime occupation of the people of uttarkahnad hills. Agriculture is largely rain-fed and traditional farming systems like ‘Barahanaja’(twelve grains grown together and harvested at different time) have sustained man and animal in these parts over centuries. Traditional natural resource management and farming systems are highlighted by the use of forest leaf litter for compost marking, exchange of seeds and indigenous traditional knowledge. Due to socio-economic conditions women play a leading role in the agriculture systems.
State policy on Organic Farming and Institutional Framework
The prevalent agriculture scenario coupled with the mountain fragility and topography was thought to be best suited for ecologic friendly agriculture development by the state government. Keeping the available wealth of the agro-diversity in perspective organic agriculture approach was adopted where these high value crops could be developed to assure livelihood for the rural communities.
The state has been forthwith with its commitment to organic agriculture and over the period ot the last decade, programs and schemes have been supporting the will of the state to develop the agriculture systems for organics.
Supporting agencies to take the movement in an organized way have been set up.
Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board
Uttarakhand organic commodity board (UOCB) functions as the nodal agency for organics in the state. The board is a resource center for trained manpower in different aspects for organic agriculture. Uocb has trained and experienced personnel’s for the production, quality control, marketing as well rural development. UOCB is presently working as a service provider for different departments for the promotion of organic agriculture.
The state set up the UTTRAKHAND state organic certification agency which is an initiative to provide quality control through certification locally thereby bringing down cost. Farmer’s federations & producer groups: sizable efforts have been put to develop and strengthen the rural institutions of the organic farmers. It is visualized that in the future the rural institutions play a large role in market interface, brand visibility as well implementation of different regimes required for organics like the ICS.