ONGC, in collaboration with Eklavya foundation has set up Center for Agriculture Research and Training in Telangana for training farmers in organic farming. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, inaugurated the CSR project for the construction of hostel, classrooms, computer labs & administrative block at the center.
The minister said, “This area is known for toor daal produce, and I dedicate this initiative to my brothers and sisters who are engaged in farming. I hope they will be able to use the facilities here, and understand and adopt modern technology for improving production”.
The minister championed the cause of skill development of the farmers to promote organic farming in a big way across the country, and said such projects will improve the standard of living of our farmers. Pradhan also said that organic farm produce is another area for promoting export of these products with suitable quality controls and market linkages, helping India become a net exporter in organic produce. He said the concept of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ is very close to the heart of this government.
Shashi Shanker, CMD ONGC, said that the company is proud to be associated with this kind of project through its CSR to empower people towards inclusive development. “Technology induction in agriculture to foster organic farming will be a game changer. This project will usher in a beginning in our agri-economy”, he added.
Dr. Alka Mittal, Director – HR, ONGC who was present in the inauguration programme to steer this iconic project said that through proper skill development and use of technology, the farmers will be able to migrate to organic farming which will have three fold benefits- the farmers will prosper and the quality of life of their families will improve, their consumers will get healthy agro-products and there will be environment conservation as well, leading to improved ecosystem.
The facility will also reach out to farmers in ONGC operational areas in Andhra Pradesh, training them in organic farming and enrolling them in PGS System, an internationally applicable organic quality assurance system, similar to ISO. The PGS System would certify their farm produce as organic produce and recognize them as export quality internationally. The project will benefit about 3500 farmers, 200 students and consumers in general by way of promoting organic farming.