North-eastern states can be organic food producers : Chamling

Shillong, May 26 (IANS) Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling on Thursday said the northeastern states can be the organic food producers for not only India but for the rest of the world.

“A quick survey can be done to ascertain which states are ready for this exercise and we also need to look at the marketing,” said Chamling at the North Eastern Council meeting.

The meeting, which was chaired by union Development of North Eastern Region Minister Jitendra Singh, was attended by governors and chief ministers of the northeastern states barring Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul and his Tripura counterpart Manik Sarkar.

Noting Sikkim started its journey for organic agriculture and farming under his leadership in 2003, Chamling said: “Despite many hurdles, challenges and opposition we persisted to complete this exercise in 2015. We implemented this policy and program in mission mode.

“In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 18, had declared Sikkim as a fully organic state of India. Sikkim’s ICAR has been designated as the National Organic Farming Research Institute (NOFRI).

“The process requires a huge exercise in changing the mindsets of farmers who are now solely relying on inorganic fertilisers. They need to be educated on the benefits especially that of health so that they take to organic farming.”

Stating that Sikkim did not receive any budgetary support from the central government for the past 12 years for its organic farming efforts, Chamling informed that his government has now received the first grant of Rs.42 crore and sought provision for adequate budget for it.



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