Sikkim to be developed as organic farming state

The organic farming of Sikkim will receive a major push with three-day all national conference on agriculture being organised in the North Eastern state. Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh today interacted with the media on National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture And Farmers’ Welfare which will convene between 17-18 January, 2016 at Gangtok. Mr Singh informed that the important highlights will include focus on Sikkim’s "Organic Programme" three-day "Sikkim Organic Festival" and an All India National Conference on "Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare." Also present was MoS Agriculture Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan. The Agriculture Minister said that it is a fine example of cooperative federalism where the ministers and officers, responsible for agriculture in the country are going to deliberate together for two days. They will be supported by scientists, academics, bankers, experts and practitioners so that the suggestions and recommendations are actionable. The Minister added that the conference will deliberate upon the challenges and identify initiatives to transform agriculture based on sustainable and efficient use of resources like soil and water, higher per unit yields, remunerative prices on produce, risk coverage and mitigation of potential negative impact of climate change. Addressing the press conference, Mr Singh said that government is focusing on "Organic Farming" in Northeast and the three-day Organic Festival will give a boost to this endeavor. By year 2025, he said, India will be able to provide food for 150 crores of its population. Referring to group insurance, agriculture investment and land lease investment as his Ministry’s priority areas, Mr Singh said, all these different subjects will be discussed in separate technical sessions during the proposed two-day conference. He also referred to Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana(PMKSY) which envisages "Har Khet Ko Pani" and "per drop more crop." Improvement in agricultural productivity will also have to take the cognizance of climatic variations and the need to bring resilience to climate. Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Dr Jitendra Singh, who also addressed the press meet, said that North East has the potential to be developed as a hub of organic farming and this is possible only when the enormous available resources are sought to be channelised in a scientific and systematic manner. Promotion of organic products, with Sikkim as the nodal State, will not only help in generating revenue and employment opportunities but will also be a great booster for the Government of India’s "Act East Policy." Referring to some of the other major projects in Sikkim, Dr Singh referred to the Greenfield Airport at Pakyong which is expected to be complete and become functional by 2017 and will emerge as one of the most beautiful destinations in the region. In addition he said, there is also a plan to connect Sikkim with the country’s rail network. Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the plan for constructing alternative road highway to Gangtok in Sikkim via West Bengal and two ropeways which will serve the purpose of both tourism as well as transport.The Organic Mission Programme is to be carried out by the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare with support of Union Ministry of DoNER and in collaboration with the State Government of Sikkim.

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