Kohima,23 July : Minister for Soil & Water Conservation and Land Resources, Nagaland, P. Longon inaugurated a five day ‘Field Functionaries and Extension Officers Training Programme on Organic Farming’ at the State Soil & Water Conservation Research, Training & Demonstration Centre and Model Organic Farm, Sechü, on 22nd July 2008.
Stressing the importance of agriculture P. Longon said that the state has about 80% of the population as farmers and most villagers are sustaining with farming activities. He said that the traditional form of shifting cultivation, widely practiced across Nagaland, has been devised over generations through practical experiences and knowledge gained by local people over the land, labour, environment, resources available and the cropping requirements. He pointed out that farmers do not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides and make adjustments with the environment to get the harvest. ‘Thus, we can say that the products from Jhum are completely organic food products’, he added.
Citing the initiative taken by the state government in adopting the State Policy for Organic Cultivation last year, Longon said that the state is in a unique position to take advantage of higher market value for organic products in the context of globalisation. However, he pointed out that the critical elements in exploring this market opportunity will include estimation of the collective production capacity of the organic produce. He said that organic produce can be obtained only when an organic management strategy is made in the farmers’ field.
Director, Soil & Water Conservation, R.T. Asang Jamir, in his welcome address said that there has been a growing awareness abut the importance of organic farming in recent years and an increasing concern for soil and water management on it, pests and nutrient management, organic farm input production, bio control agents and the management formula to make farm products acceptable to world communities.
Those who spoke during the programme included Commissioner & Secretary, Soil & Water Conservation Department, Dr. Chuba, IAS; Dinesh Pareek, Director, Yashowanti Earthworms & Microbes Research Institute, Tinsukia and representative from Regional Centre of Organic farming, Imphal, Manipur. The training will conclude on 26th July 2008.