Chandigarh, May 26- Haryana Government has decided to set up first organic certification agency, Haryana Organic Certification Agency (HOCA) at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU), Hisar to give a major fillip to organic farming in the state.

While stating this here today, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. K.P. Singh said that the university has got the society registration under the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012 (Haryana Act No. 1 of 2012) and the society will function as government aided organic certification agency. The Vice Chancellor, CCSHAU, Hisar will be the ex-officio President/Chairperson and Controlling Officer of Deendayal Upadhyay Centre of Excellence for Organic Farming (DDUCE-OF) will be the Member Secretary of the society.

He said that the university has initiated the process of getting accreditation of HOCA from Agriculture Produce Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India. After coming HOCA in existence, smooth marketing and export of organic produce from Haryana will be ensured. HOCA will work in close association with DDUCE-OF. The CCSHAU will strengthen its laboratory and create new one also to render the testing services. Establishment of HOCA will help the organic growers of Haryana to obtain the third party certification in a cost effective and transparent manner enabling them to sell their produce with certification mark to domestic as well as international market.

He said that some of the key activities of HOCA and DDUCE-OF would be certification of Organic Farms and Processes according to National and International standards, Promotion of organic farming for the benefit of general public, testing of different inputs and products of organic farms/industries, training/capacity building of organic certification staff as well as organic growers, identification, development, refinement, validation and promotion of economically viable, socially acceptable, environmentally sound and sustainable technologies for healthy and nutritious food production, identify knowledge gaps, develop efficient and innovative technologies from seed to marketing of the organic produce, research and extension activities in organic farming, to develop package of practices on different modes of organic farming and to incubate farmers into successful organic growers etc.

The Vice-chancellor conveyed his thanks to Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal and state government for approving HOCA in the interest of organic growers to increase their income. This step will help the farmers to further improve their status in Haryana.

He said that there are two system of organic certification. One is self-certification system (Participatory Guarantee Scheme) but this certification is not effective for export purpose. Second is third party certification which is mostly adopted for export purpose but involves higher cost.