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Uttarakhand-based FPO to increase membership in 2 years

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) After Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praises on their products and style of working, an Uttarakhand-based organic Farmers' Producers Organisation (FPO) has declared to take its membership from 1,000 to 50,000 in the next two years.

Jivamrit Organic Farmer Producer Company in Haridwar, was among those featured in Modi's New Year's Day virtual meeting with hundreds of farmers from across the country wherein he discussed and promoted natural farming.

The Prime Minister had also transferred the first instalment of Kisan Samman Nidhi into farmers' accounts that day.

All the members of the FPO engage in cow rearing to ensure that there is an abundance of cow dung. The farmers are trained to make bio-fertilisers at home for using them in their respective farmland.

"When we started organic farming, of course, we stopped using chemical fertilisers. We started making Jivamrit, the bio-fertiliser, at home and used it in the fields. The fertility of our soil has increased significantly," said Jasveer Singh, Director, FPO-Jivamrit.

Jivamrit FPO started with just 10 farmers and since its based in the sugarcane belt, the natural choice was to produce organic jaggery, organic jaggery powder, organic khandsari sugar, natural honey, and organic mustard oil.

The FPO was developed with the monetary aid from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, (NABARD) and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK).

The Centre has been providing equity grants to encourage FPOs and Jivamrit is one of the beneficiaries.

Speaking about the bio-fertilizer that Jivamrit produces and uses in organic farming, chairman of the Jivamrit Organic Farmer Producer Company, Haridwar, Vijaypal Singh said: "Bio-fertilizers are made up of natural extracts which are environment-friendly. Our bio-fertilizer has cow dung, cow urine, water, gud (jaggery) and besan (gram flour) to develop the microorganism in soil. It helps increase soil fertility and maintain the carbon cycle in the environment."

The farmer members of the FPO sell their produce to the processing unit of the FPO.

While explaining the selling strategy, Co-Founder and Director, Jivamrit Agro Organic Foods, the technical and market outreach arm of the FPO-Jivamrit, Mukesh Singh, said: "Initially we started with 10 farmers, so our products were consumed locally and didn't get the right price. But after we registered under Companies Act and our membership increased to 500 farmers, we are getting good prices for our organic products.

"And now, we are heading to enlarge our membership up to 50,000 in the next two years. We are striving to help farmers at the grass-root level and get gradual success in our efforts."

The organic products are certified by Uttarakhand State Organic Certification Agency (USOCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and OneCert International for the cultivation and the processing of organic products.