Tripura Organic Farming: For Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Millets, Crops, Livestock, and Aquaculture

Organic farming is slowly pacing up in Tripura as it helps the farmers to get higher market value. Organic farming is being done under the ‘Mission Organic Value Chain Development for Northeast Region’ (MOVCD-NER) scheme Phase-II, a central scheme launched by the ministry of agriculture and farmer’s welfare in all the northeastern states. As part of the scheme, farmers will be connected to purchasers to support the entire organic production process, from inputs, seeds, and certification to facilities for collection, processing, marketing, and brand development through a value chain model.

A farmer’s organization with 512 farmers in the Unakoti district `Unakoti Organic Farmer Producers Company Ltd’ registered under Company Act 1956, has been setting an example by growing crops organically on 500 hectares of land in Unakoti under the MOVCD-NER Phase-II scheme since 2019 where pineapple is being grown on 400 hectares area. In addition, Turmeric is being grown on 100 hectares area. This is a 5-year project in which the government provides help for three years.

They have also registered with an e-marketplace, a user-friendly online portal, and a government initiative on which the details of farmers’ produce are updated. Buyers from outside the state can make deals easily. Organic farming under this scheme is being done in four blocks of the district. These are Jamtolbari ADC village in Chandipur block, Deora and Unakoti ADC village in Goumagar block, Rajkandi, Saidachara and Demdum ADC village in Kumarghat block, Andarchara and Nabinchara ADC village in Pecharthal block.

Tripura organic farming

Major crops in Tripura

Agriculture forms a primary sector of the economy of Tripura. More than 75% of the state’s total workforce depends on agriculture for subsistence. About 24.3 % of the state’s net area is reserved for agricultural purposes, of which about 2.5 lakh hectares fall under the net cultivated area. Paddy is the principal crop that is reaped in Tripura. Besides paddy, jute, sugarcane, wheat, oil seeds, coconut, and Turmeric are also abundant in the northeast Indian state.

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Tripura organic farming
DistrictCrops grown
DhalaiPaddy, Maize, Redgram, Groundnut, Sugarcane, Rapeseed, And Mustard
GomatiPaddy, Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Potato, Sugarcane, Jute, Mustard
KhowaiPaddy, Maize, Rapeseed, Mustard, Arhar, and Pea
SipahijalaPaddy, Maize, Sesamum, Mustard, and Pulses
UnakotiPaddy, Oilseeds, and Maize
North TripuraRice, Maize, Pigeon Pea, Black Gram, Green Gram, Cowpea, Ground Nut, Sesame, Jute, Mesta, Cotton
South TripuraPaddy, Rubber, Tea, and Bamboo
West TripuraPaddy, Jute, Sugarcane, Wheat, Oil Seeds, Coconut, and Turmeric

Organic vegetable farming in Tripura

Tripura has made commendable progress in vegetable cultivation during the last decade. However, the state farming community consists of marginal farmers to the extent of more than 90%. Small & marginal farmers constitute 96% of the total farmers in the state (All India 81%). In Tripura, commercial cultivation of vegetables with hybrid varieties is still limited to the areas of traditional vegetable growers in the mainland.

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Cabbage Cultivation

Many tribal pockets, despite having land and water resources and the gap in the availability of quality vegetables in their locality, are not taken to the practice as yet. It is felt necessary to take special initiative to motivate them to cultivate a few major winter vegetables like Cabbage, Cauliflower, Tomato, Brinjal, and Potato to increase the production and productivity of these vegetables are still in short of supply from within the state. This initiative will also increase the income level of the tribal people in remote areas, besides assuring nutrition security.

DistrictVegetable crops grown
DhalaiCole crops, Tomato, and Chilli
GomatiCabbage, Cauliflower, and Radish
KhowaiPotato, Brinjal, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Radish
SipahijalaOkra, Brinjal, Cole crops, Tomato, and Chilli
UnakotiCabbage, Cauliflower, Radish, Okra, Brinjal, and Cole crops
North TripuraBrinjal, Cabbage, Cauliflower
South TripuraCauliflower, Radish, Okra, Brinjal
West TripuraBrinjal, Cole crops, Tomato, and Chilli

Organic fruit farming in Tripura

The state has a tropical climate with an average rainfall of 2,200 mm, extending over eight months a year. Favorable agro-climate and availability of tilla land in plenty offer immense potential for cultivating various tropical and sub-tropical fruits, nuts, spices, and vegetables in Tripura. Oranges, Pineapple (Queen and Kew), Cashewnut and Jack fruit, and Lime/Lemon grown in Tripura are already well known for their excellent quality. Since 2018 pineapple and lemon have been exported to different countries. 

In addition to the major fruits grown (Mango, Litchi, Pineapple, Orange, Banana, and Jackfruit) in this state, many edible fruits exist naturally in the forest and cultivable areas. These fruit plants play a vital role in providing nutritional and economic security to the poor masses in rural areas. Still, the commercial importance and market value of these wild fruits are unknown to them.

Other important Horticulture crops which have substantial business opportunities and are untapped commercially are Dragon Fruits. Therefore, horticulture development has been considered a major activity for the economic betterment of the farming community and employment generation. The total area under horticulture in the state is 121160.00 hectares, with a production of 1458245.00 metric tons of Fruits, Vegetables, and Spices.

An additional 1370 hectares area under Fruits, 1142.6 hectares under Arecanut, 5050 hectares under Vegetables, and 200 hectares under open field flowers have been brought under cultivation during 2019-20 benefiting nearly 30000 farmers in the state. The production, processing, and commercialization of  Dragon Fruits are at a very nascent stage in Tripura. The processing and marketing of these horticulture crops are still untapped and underutilized. There is only a countable of mushrooms with a total production of 300 MT Dragon fruit growers and only 1800 growers cultivated annually.

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Jackfruit farming
DistrictFruit crops grown
DhalaiBanana, Jackfruit, Assam Lemon, Papaya, Litchi, Orange, Pineapple, Colocasia, Mango, Sapota, Mosambi, Guava, Ber
Gomatijackfruit, banana, mango, and pineapple
KhowaiMango, Pineapple, Orange, Jack fruit, and Banana
SipahijalaMango, Pineapple, Banana, Jack fruit, and Litchi
UnakotiPapaya, Litchi, Orange, Pineapple, Colocasia, Mango
North TripuraOrange, Pine apple, Jack fruit, Banana, Lemon, Areca-nut, mango
South TripuraPineapple, Jackfruit, Banana, Nuts, Mango
West TripuraOrange, Pineapple, Colocasia, Mango

Status of fruit crops in Tripura

FruitArea (Hectares)Production (Metric Tons)
Mango1064056220
Pineapple8769127097
Orange634225762
Jackfruit6096153051
Banana10804114471
Litchi23718600
Lime/Lemon504325681
Papaya282728616
Sapota1721254
Musambi12553137
Guava8914537

Organic herbs farming in Tripura

Herbal and medicinal plants grow naturally in the forests of Tripura. In addition, the medicinal plants’ board of Tripura conducts the cultivation of herbal and medicinal Plants under different central government schemes. The government has taken several steps to expand the area under herbal and medicinal plants – even spaces available at educational institutions are also planned to bring under the plantation.

The medicinal plants’ board of Tripura chalked out a 5-year plan for 2021-22 to 2025-26 to bring 650-hectare land under herbal and medicinal plants cultivation in the state. The plan started through the resource augmentation of some important medicinal plants of the Tripura scheme under the central sector scheme on conservation, Development, and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants (CSS-CDSMMP).

Target for 2021-25 was set to cultivate herbal and medicinal plants on 250 hectares, out of which 165-hectare land could be brought under the targeted plantations. In addition, the state government has taken several other steps to expand the area under Tripura’s herbal and medicinal plants.

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Herbs Farming
DistrictMedicinal plant crops grown
DhalaiCitronella, Lemongrass, Neem, Patchouli, and Amla
KhowaiGinger, Turmeric, and Balck Pepper
SipahijalaKalmegh, Amla, Agar and Sajna
North TripuraKalmegh, Gandhaki, and Bael
South TripuraBahera, Haritaki, Kalmegh, Satamuli and Amla

Organic millet farming in Tripura

In Tripura, the tribal community has been cultivating Foxtail millets as a component of their mixed cropping system since very early. Among the various possible approaches to achieve this target, the cultivation of crops like Foxtail millets, Finger millets, and sorghum may be one to attain self-sufficiency. Moreover, the cultivation of crops like Foxtail millets, Finger millets, and sorghum may add production per annum to the food grains basket.

Moreover, millets are all-season crops cultivated yearly, whereas wheat is season specific. Therefore, Foxtail millets, Finger millets, Proso millet, and sorghum may be the best suitable alternatives to wheat flour from the point of view of the nutritional value as well as the tremendous national gain, especially in the ensuing decades of climate crisis/water scarcity.

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Millets

Organic livestock farming in Tripura

Livestock farming is integral to India’s economy and various constituent states, including Tripura. Agriculture is the backbone of Tripura’s economy, employing nearly 51 percent of the total workforce in the state. As only about 27% of the state’s land is suitable for cultivation, and 60% is high land, the livestock sector is a key component of the state’s agricultural system.

There has recently been an increase in interest among women and educated youths in adopting integrated farming systems (IFS) in the state. A sustainable alternative to commercial farming systems, especially on marginal lands, integrated farming systems help reverse resource degradation and stabilize farm incomes. In terms of livestock population, Tripura ranks third among the northeastern states of India, with 1.31 million livestock and 4.16 million poultry.

Tripura’s economy is largely dependent on the livestock sector. Agricultural laborers and small farmers own most of the state’s livestock, primarily oriented toward livelihood. As a subsidiary occupation, farmers in the state produce milk, meat, and eggs from livestock and poultry. The state Animal Resources Development Department has implemented various livestock schemes to uplift economically weaker sections and unemployed youth of the state.

The flagship schemes during the recent financial years include the distribution of Sirohi and Black Bengal breeds for goat rearing, breeding and distribution of crossbred/exotic piglets amongst indigenous farmers, financial assistance for poultry rearing under the National Livestock Mission (NLM), and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

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Simple Pig Feeder

To ensure the generation of more clean milk and employment, interested entrepreneurs and farmers are being provided loans under Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme. Under the “Mukhyamantri Unnat Godhan Prakalp” program launched by the Dept. in the year 2020-2021 to augment the state’s milk production.

Organic Aquaculture farming in Tripura

As a result of achieving self-sufficiency in fish production by producing locally produced fish, the Department is implementing and promoting various development schemes and activities to promote sustainable development and conservation of fisheries in the state. As compared with 2003-04, when farmers produced 17979.60 MT of fish, the production in 2020-21 increased to 78574.21 MT. Fish, prawns, and fish seeds are cultured on 28101.63 ha of state-owned water areas under fish farming.

Currently, the Department is focusing on increasing fish production through increased productivity and expanding aquaculture areas by constructing new waterbodies and promoting alternative aquaculture practices, such as caged fish culture in open water and biofloc culture. The Department is also supporting the development of entrepreneurship among farmers, SHGs, and cooperative societies to make them self-reliant through scientific fish farming.

Tripura is economically backward in the Northeast region because of low infrastructure availability. Balanced growth of the state is possible only through the equitable distribution of resources. For this purpose, the fishery department should encourage private sector participation and cooperatives in all growth plans. It will empower them to acquire knowledge and other skills and access finance. Major strategies to be taken to expand fish farming in Tripura are given below-

  • Reclamation of water bodies in the most depleted condition and reclaimed to create an effective area for fish cultivation. Creation of new water bodies within the limited scope and construction of mini-barrages in the tilla lands.
  • Integrated fish farming should be popularized among farmers to get additional fish yield to minimize the production cost and provide nutritional security and employment opportunity for the rural people.
  • Fishery extension service should be strengthened so that technology transfer from lab to land can be properly disseminated in the farmers’ fields.
  • Stocking advance fingerlings in reservoirs and rivers must be adopted as a continuous process to avoid depletion of catch to supplement the stocking. In addition, freshwater prawn culture should be popularized among fish farmers.
  • Strengthening domestic marketing systems should be developed properly by developing proper infrastructure.

  • The application of a balanced diet in aquaculture is to be popularized to get maximum production. Furthermore, low-cost fish feed production utilizing local resources should be popularized among poor rural fish farmers to minimize their input level.
  • Scientific aquaculture and technical guidelines regarding fish culture must be published periodically in the booklet, newspaper, leaflet, folder, or organizing the workshop, radio talk, TV talk, etc., which will motivate people more about fish culture.
  • The state government should initiate the attempt to bring progressive fish farmers from Andhra Pradesh or send Tripura state organic product certification agency ng the state’s fish farmers to Andhra Pradesh to arrange a six-month or one-year training program.
  • Periphyton base aquaculture has to be promoted among the fish farmer to minimize the level of input in the cultural practices.
  • Fishery cooperatives and SHGs should play an important role in the state’s systematic development of the fisheries sector. In addition, adopting local research findings in aquaculture should be quickly implemented in the farmers’ fields.

How to get an organic certificate in Tripura

To double the income of farmers, the state will promote organic farming. Tripura has seen a significant increase in organic farming areas. As much as possible, the state is moving toward organic farming. An organic certification agency has been established as part of its efforts to promote organic farming in the northeastern state of Tripura. It will be run by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. The proposed agency will handle all technological interventions related to organic cultivation, assisting cultivators in switching to organic farming practices.

  • Suppose an individual (a farmer/group of farmers/processors/traders) wants to obtain an organic farming certificate for their agricultural products. In that case, their farm must conform to the organic crop production standards set by NPOP (National Programme for Organic Production).
  • The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) needs applicants to submit an application in the defined format, along with the fee, and to complete a field verification.
  • There are general organic crop production standards available on the website of the Tripura state organic product certification agency.
  • The Tripura state organic product certification agency requires all the information requested on the application form and the contract form, including the name, address, contact details, field location, and group information, to be filled out, signed, and should be returned to the office.
  • An offer letter (approximate fees for inspection and certification) and an agreement copy will be sent to the operator by the evaluator after the application has been reviewed by the evaluator and accepted. When technical reasons prevent a client from being certified, the same will be communicated to the client.

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Organic certification process
  • The operator is registered with the Tripura state agency for organic product certification.
  • Application fees, field inspection fees, one-time travel costs, and the registration fee must be paid by the applicant.
  • In consultation with the operator, set the inspection date and send the inspection notification along with the farm records and NPOP standard as soon as the payment has been received.
  • A copy of the signed agreement will be provided to the operator when the agreement is finalized, and the inspection shall take place on that day. An inspection report copy will be given to the operator during the inspection. Evaluator receives a detailed inspection report.
  • Tracenet records the detailed crop list, the major and minor nonconformities, and the corrective actions deadline.
  • ·For group farmers, the CB (certifying body) checks the data entered by the group in the tracenet and enters the major and minor nonconformities with the corrective deadline.
  • After receiving the full payment, the evaluator evaluates the operator file and sends it to the (CC) certification committee. A final decision is made by the certification committee based on the corrective actions taken by the operator in response to the non-conformities in the inspection report
  • A certificate will be generated by the quality manager and sent to the operator through the tracenet.
  • Upon request from the operator, the certification agency/India organic logo will be sent to the operator after the certification committee has approved it as per the NSOP. Before printing, the labels must be verified and approved by the certification agency office.

Conclusion

As a result of its diverse climate and soil types, Tripura state is characterized by a diverse range of agro-climatic zones. The state is also known for its excellence in horticulture and animal husbandry. Additionally, many state farmers are pioneers in organic agriculture and have developed various cultivation systems using indigenous knowledge. Furthermore, they have developed methods for controlling pests and diseases using organic wastes and holistic pest control agents.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hello sir/mam
    I want to invest in your organic farming programme… Is there any kind of shares where i can invest in your farming programme..

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