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The Assam Rifles has conducted a 20 days ‘Organic Farming Tour’ for the farmers of all states of the Northeast.

In an effort to assist the people of the north-eastern region and also to safeguard the rich flora and fauna the tour is with a vision to create an ‘organic, healthy and prosperous Northeast’.

This was stated in a press release.

The director general Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan of Assam Rifles flagged off the first ever organic farming tour under Assam Rifles Civic Action Programme on Tesday from Headquarters, director general, Assam Rifles in Shillong.

The State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute, Sikkim is coordinating the ‘assiduous training’ of the 50 farmers (31 male and 19 female) covering states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Tripura.

The tour will meet civil and military dignitaries and will also have the chance to witness the rich heritage culture of Sikkim by visiting different places in Sikkim as a part of sightseeing.

“The heterogeneous mix of farmers representing all states of the Northeast will be proceeding to Sikkim for a 20 days organic farming tour,” says PRO Assam Rifles (South) in a press release.

“This will not only give boost to the village level agriculture in the region but the composition of the tour epitomizes spirit of national integration.”

Stating that 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, the release said,

It is a responsible way of farming which ensures that healthy, chemical free food is produced without harming the environment.

The healthy and eco-friendly organic farming practices once established in states of the Northeast will help to achieve a higher per hectare income by 13 percent by use of infield organic fertilizers.

The best example of this has been observed in Arunchal Pradesh where 98 per cent of Anjaw villages were practising some degree of opium production which gave them an income of Rs one lakh per hectare.

But with the efforts of Assam Rifles and government 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, leading to healthier ecosystem with sustained livelihood and income for the local populace.

Northeast 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.

India is the ninth largest producer of organic products in the world.

The current Indian organic market is estimated at Rs 4000 crores and is likely to increase to 10,000 to 12,000 crores by 2020.

Indian organic market is growing steady with a combined annual growth rate of 25 per cent compared to 16 per cent global growth rates.

The Central Government has also contributed to this growth with schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North-eastern region and national programme of organic production.

The first name that comes to mind when you talk of organic farming in India is the state of Sikkim which started its mission to become an organic state in 2003.

Since then Sikkim has achieved exceptional standard in the field finally realizing its dream by becoming the first 100 per cent organic state in January 2016.

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