DG AR flags off Sikkim tour of NE organic farmers

IMPHAL, 24th Sep: Director General of Assam Rifles Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan flagged off the first ever organic farming tour conducted under the Assam Rifles Civic Action Programme.
The tour team was seen off by the DG on Tuesday from HQ DGAR, Shillong and consisted of 50 farmers, including 19 females from the states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Tripura.
According to a PRO IGAR (S) release, a planned and assiduous training of these farmers will be coordinated by State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI) Sikkim. The farmers will meet civil and military dignitaries and will also have the chance to witness the rich cultural heritage of Sikkim by visiting different places as a part of sight-seeing.
The healthy and eco-friendly organic farming practices once established in states of North East will help to achieve a higher per hectare income by 13 per cent by use of in field organic fertilizers. The best example of this has been observed in Arunachal Pradesh where 98 per cent of Anjaw villages were practising some degree of opium production which gave them an income of Rs 1 lakh per hectare. but with the efforts of Assam Rifles and national policies on organic farming the farmers were encouraged in cultivation of high value organic medicinal plants boosting their income to three times as compared to opium farming reducing drug abuses in the state.
The change in farming and crop methodology is leading to healthier ecosystem with sustained livelihood and income for the local populace preventing them from being lured into insurgency, the PRO said and expressed confidence that the tour with its vision will create an “Organic, Healthy and prosperous North East”.
Stating that over the years, the Assam Rifles has been selflessly serving the people of North East Region, the release conveyed that the 20-day Organic Farming Tour will not only give boost to the village level agriculture in the region but the composition of the tour epitomizes spirit of National Integration. Organic farming is a set of simple practices which bring into picture a diverse, healthy and sustainable crop production system, without the use of poisonous chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. It is a responsible way of farming which ensures that healthy, chemical free food is produced without harming the environment. North East though being a hot spot for diverse flora and fauna, still lacks awareness in the latest trends and technologies in the field of organic farming due geographical isolation and intense counter insurgency environment.
The first name that comes to mind when one talks of organic farming in India is the state of Sikkim.
Sikkim started its mission to become an organic state in 2003 and since then has achieved exceptional standard in the field finally realizing its dream by becoming the first 100 per cent organic state in January 2016, the release added.

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