SHILLONG, July 15 - Members of Meghalaya State Planning Board (SPB) have suggested a complete ban on sale of chemical fertilisers in Meghalaya to encourage organic farming in the State.
The suggestion was raised in a Meghalaya State Planning Board (SPB) review meeting on agriculture and allied sector held here recently, SPB Co-Chairman John Kharshiing said.
�We don�t know how far such a suggestion is feasible at this moment, but the idea would be taken forward in further meetings,� Kharshiing told The Assam Tribune.
The State Government had completely withdrawn subsidy on chemical fertilisers from last year. However, chemical fertilisers are still being sold in the open market and farmers are still using these for their produces.
The State Government wants to emulate Sikkim which has declared itself as the first and only Organic State in the country. So far, under the Organic Mission launched last year, 546 hectare of land has been brought under organic farming.
�A lot needs to be done if we are to achieve our goal of a 100 per cent organic producing State. The Agriculture departments wants enhancement of funds,� the Co-Chairman added.
In 2015-16, an allocation about Rs 1crore was made for the Organic Mission. Rs 70 lakh was earmarked for manufacturing bio-fertilisers and subsidy on such fertilisers. Another Rs 20 lakh was allotted for training of farmers on organic farming.
�About 4,250 farmers have been trained in 67 clusters across the State,� Kharshiing informed. These farmers, apart from being provided expertise in organic farming, were also trained to produce bio-fertilisers from organic waste.
The SPB has also asked the Veterinary department to encourage use of organic feeds to farm animals so that the wastes are not loaded with chemicals.
�It would defeat the purpose if farm animals are given chemical feeds. There won�t be any synergy between the farming methods and the waste from animals,� he added.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture department has requested the State Government to sanction two wheelers to its officials like inspectors so that remote areas become accessible.