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Modi to address meet on sustainable agri

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Jan 9 - Aiming to bring the second green revolution in North East, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a national conference on sustainable agriculture on January 18 in Gangtok.

Modi will inaugurate a flower show and visit an exhibition on organic products besides launching a logo of Sikkim Organic Mission.

Sikkim is the first State which is adopting organic farming on a universal basis and has certified more than 74,000 hectare of land, according to State Government data.

Briefing media, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, �The three-day national conference on �Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers Welfare� and the Sikkim Organic Festival will be held together at Gangtok.

�The Prime Minister has consented to be the chief guest at the Plenary Session of the National Conference on January 18.�

Sharing the details of the national conference scheduled on January 17-19, Singh said all State Agriculture Ministers, Central and State Agriculture officials and other technical experts will be present at the event to discuss various challenges posed to the farm sector.

The conference will identify initiatives to transform agriculture based on sustainable and efficient use of resources like soil and water, higher per unit yields, remunerative prices on produce, risk coverage and mitigation of potential negative impact of climate change, he added.

Five technical groups will discuss sustainability through organic farming and soil health management, National Agriculture Market and APMC Reforms, crop insurance and credit flow to farm sector, convergence of schemes like MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana and other State plan schemes, and enhancing investment in agriculture and land lease issue, he added.

�The recommendations of these groups will be presented before the Prime Minister,� Singh added.

Stating that the Modi Government has given a big push for organic farming in North East under the �Act East Policy�, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh said: �The State has already taken steps to convert its entire arable extent of 74,000 hectare into organic farming.

�It is now focusing on certification, branding, processing and marketing so that the farmers get premium price on the organically cultivated produce.�

The State has a legislation to back adoption of organic farming as the only farm of cultivation in the State. It also has an Act that prohibits use of agro-chemical in the State, he added.

The conference is being jointly organised by the Union Agriculture Ministry and Sikkim Government. � PTI

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