Tibetan refugees plan to introduce organic farming in India with the help of an Italian NGO.
"A pilot organic village will be set up in each of the 12 major agricultural settlements spread across India," said Ngodup Dorje, head of the agriculture and cooperative division of the Tibetan government-in-exile here.
The model villages will receive all inputs in the process of organic conversion ranging from training programmes and exposure tours of organic farms, besides procuring seeds and making eco-friendly compost.
"If all the major agriculture settlements have a model village, it would raise both the pace and scale of organic farming," Dorje said here.
Organic farming is a form of agriculture that avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides, plant growth regulators and livestock feed additives.
Organic farmers rely on crop rotation, crop residues, animal manures and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity.
"The policy of sustainable agriculture based on organic farming is aimed at preserving the viability of the Tibetan settlements," Dorje said.
"With funding from an Italian NGO, COSPE, the Tibetan government has deputed fully trained agriculture extension officers in all agriculture settlements," he added.
Asked about the constraints in implementing the project, Dorje said: "The monetary rewards from conventional farming in the short run is proving to be a major distraction.
"But those who are serious about their farming are the most receptive to the advantages of going organic in the long run."
India is home to some 100,000 Tibetans, many of whom fled to India in 1959 along with their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. No country recognizes the Tibetan government-in-exile here.