SHIMLA-4 August, 2020-Jagdish Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister presented apples of his orchard to Governor Bandaru Dattatraya at Raj Bhavan, Shimla today. He apprised the Governor that entire orchard has been adopted Subhash Palekar Natural Farming System and may be the first one in the State based on this system.

On the occasion, Shri Sharma apprised the Governor about the benefit and way of developing high density orchard in his land. He said that today, he has 1400 apple plants in his one and half hectare land and all were high density plants. He added that he started practising natural farming with only 38 plants and had an expenditure of near about Rs. 4.38 lakh per hectare and now it has reduced to Rs. 50 thousand only. He expressed hoped that in future it would be low cost investment. By practising natural farming, cost of production is decreasing sharply and productivity has not gone down, he added. He was getting more than Rs. 3000 thousand per box in the market.

He suggested the farmers of the state to rear indigenous breed cow for adopting natural farming and high density orchard as followed in apple producing countries of West. He said that he had a past experience of horticulture, floriculture, silk production and mushroom production as a head of Government servant and by taking the benefit of that experience he developed apple orchard based on natural farming and got good results.

The Governor appreciated the efforts and said that it was a success story for every orchardist and inspiration for many. "A high level officer contributing in this way was really motivating", he said. He expressed satisfaction that more than 4800 orchardists have adopted natural farming in the state and more than 800 hectares land have been covered under natural farming for apple production. He said that it was helpful for orchardist that cost of production was going down by adopting natural farming. He appeal the farmers to process the system of natural farming and got remunerative price for their product besides, it also lower the cost of production.

He said that there was a rare demand of natural product in the market and State Government was also promoting this system of farming. He also lauded the work done by the team of officials under SPNF project in promoting the system in the state.

Rakesh Kanwar, Project Director, SPNF also briefed about the progress of natural farming in the state. He said that experts of the project also monitored the orchard of J.C. Sharma and gave some important suggestion inputs for getting good results.

Dr. Rajeshwar Chandel, Additional Director, SPNF was also present on the occasion.