Namchi, 31 Mar
A daylong interactive session with farmers and officers of South District was held at the auditorium of Lingi Senior Secondary School in South Sikkim today in the presence of Agriculture Minister, Somnath Poudyal.
He was accompanied by Area MLA cum Minister, Ugen T Gyatso, Principal Director, Agriculture, Sherap L Dorjee, officials from various departments, progressive farmers from the surrounding areas, Panchayats and students at large.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Poudyal highlighted that the objective of the programme is to share information of activities and future plans, to promote cooperation between officials and progressive farmers in the process of implementing the schemes and policies of organic farming earmarked for the public by the state government.
He outlined the various advantages of organic farming and emphasized that the practice of organic farming is also known as sustainable farming which is designed to benefit the environment by adding structure to the soil. He further encouraged the progressive farmers to take advantage of the Sikkim Organic Mission and aim to yield high quality produce.
He called upon the farmers to diligently practice the concept of mixed agriculture.
“The state government’s efforts to discourage import of certain vegetables from outside of Sikkim will come into effect from April. Farmers need to produce enough amount of organic produce in order to transform Sikkim as a self-reliant and self-sufficient State in terms of organic agriculture produce,” said Mr Poudyal.
He informed that the department is working towards building a robust mechanism for marketing organic produce in the State and assured that the demands placed by the Panchayats with regard to organic farming will be looked into on a priority basis.
Speaking during the occasion, Area MLA, Mr Gyatso, urged the progressive farmers in attendance to understand the valuable inputs provided by the resource person and in turn effectively infuse these inputs in the practice of organic farming. He said that the state government has unwaveringly supported the vision of the farmers and advised the farmers of the GPU to focus on producing maximum, quality organic produce and aim to receive the award of Rs 1 crore which will be presented to the most progressive farmer of the State.
During the course of the programme, the officials from the concerned departments spoke in detail about the various schemes provided to the public.
Additionally, Panchayat president, Lingmoo Payong GPU, Yogesh Bhandari, also presented a list of demands for the development of the concerned GPU.
Mr Poudyal, alongside the dignitaries, also distributed tokens to 14 beneficiaries for availing products namely ginger, power tiller, chaff-cutter, rural compost, Genap, Green House, sprinkle & drip-Irrigation pertaining to FSADD, HCCDD, AHLF&VS departments.
A detailed interaction session was also conducted between the attendees and the officials wherein qualitative feedbacks and suggestions with regards to organic farming were discussed at length.