ITANAGAR, April 16 - Arunachal Pradesh took a major leap forward towards sustainable agriculture practices for producing healthy and quality food crops with Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh launching the State Organic Mission in a function at Banquet Hall here on Saturday.
With the launch of the Mission, the State hopes to shift to organic farming in a phased manner and become a hundred per cent Organic State in the days to come. Besides, the State also outlined measures to discourage use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in Arunachal and gradually substitute plant nutrients by organic manures and bio-fertilisers and manage control of diseases and insect pests by biological control measures along with developing markets for organic food produces of the State.
The Union Minister, terming Arunachal Pradesh as an agriculture heaven, said the people here have been abundantly blessed with all of nature�s resources and opined that organic farming will ensure Arunachal becoming a major agro-tourism destination.
He, however, said, it is pertinent to add value addition to our agriculture and horticulture produces by changing the raw product into something new through different processes. Without value addition, it would be a meaningless venture.
State�s Agriculture Minister Wangki Lowang said that Arunachal has always been traditionally organic, with the farmers having the excellent advantage of natural farming system. Picking the problem of marketing, he said that the government is looking at opening agro-based incubators in all districts of the State.
Lowang appealed to the Union Government to reserve one bogie per month in the express train from Naharlagun to Delhi exclusively for carrying the agri-horti produces from the State, besides identifying a dedicated market in Delhi to sell these produces.
Industries Minister Tamiyo Taga pleaded the Union Government to provide some sort of fencing scheme for the State to help farmers save their crops from being destroyed by wild and domesticated animals like cows and mithuns.
Chief Secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin, in her keynote address, said by default, Arunachal Pradesh is an organic State as the use of chemical fertilisers is infinitely small in the region as compared to the rest of the nation. She said the State has vast resources of its own including cultivable lands, agriculture and horticulture produces that are world class.
With proper connectivity, she said, the State will be able to make agriculture as the main contributor to its GDP. She also said that organic farming will ensure that the State has remittance economy and that the youth need not depend on government jobs.
Union Agriculture Secretary SK Pattanayak �assured� that sufficient funds will be provided to meet any kind of requirements for promoting organic farming in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Union Secretary, meanwhile, informed that Government of India will fund a �centre of excellence� at Dirang in West Kameng to promote floriculture and orchids in the State. With this, the import of flowers from outside can be stopped and the State can use its own resource.