Minister Letpao calls for promoting organic farming

STAFF REPORTER/DIPR IMPHAL, 10th Nov: Highlighting that continuous consumption of food crops grown with application of chemical fertilizers is creating serious health issues, water resource development (WRD) minister Letpao Haokip has called upon the state farmers to adopt organic farming.

Speaking as chief guest during inauguration of a district level sensitisation programme on different schemes of agriculture at Indoor Hall, Chandel on Friday, minister Letpao cautioned that though modern agronomy and agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers and technological advancement have increased food production, the tendency to apply chemical fertilizers indiscriminately has been causing widespread ecological damage as well as affecting human.

The programme was organised under the auspices of District Agriculture Officer, Chandel.

Stressing the need for urgent measures to enhance agriculture production without the use of hazardous chemical elements, he recounted that in olden days, average lifespan of the people used to be much longer than the present generation. The indiscriminate or haphazard use of fertilizers and chemicals in agriculture practice is one major factor for the variation of lifespan then and now, said Letpao, who also holds the portfolio of water resource development.

Further stating that there is need to explore more scientific but chemical free agricultural practice, he cautioned that failure to adopt chemical-free farming will only compound the problem of health issues.

Reiterating that focus should be on health-oriented farming practices, Letpao expressed confidence that the agricultural experts would enlighten farmers of the district on different schemes and farming methods during the sensitisation programme.

Delivering the keynote address, director (agriculture) Ph Rajendra Singh said that sensitisation programmes are being conducted at different parts of the state to make the farmers aware about their rights and schemes being launched by the state and Central government.

Similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi closely monitoring agriculture development projects at the national level, chief minister N Biren has been instructing the department officials as well as the district administrators to ensure effective and judicious implementation of centrally-sponsored agricultural schemes in the state, he added.

The programme aims at sensitising farmers of all districts on various schemes like National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NAMSA); Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (National Agriculture Development programme); Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA); Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana; Soil Health Card; Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana, etc., Rajendra said.

He also explained that these schemes are being initiated to increase production of rice, pulses and maize and double the income of the farmers along with stating that other components of the schemes include implementation of minor irrigation projects, combining crop plantation with fish farming.

Among others, the inaugural session was also attended by ADC Chandel members Ngamlal Baite, Seithang Haokip and Horngam Anal, Additional Chief Secretary (Agri) Dr Suhel Akhtar, deputy commissioner (Chandel) Krishna Kumar; DAO (Chandel) Y Shyam Singh and agriculture department officials.

About 210 farmers took part in the sensitisation programme.

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