Narendra Modi asks states to take up organic farming

The prime minister met state agriculture ministers on a visit to Sikkim, the country's first organic state

Sayantan Bera
First Published19 Jan 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting a flower exhibition in Gangtok, Sikkim, on Monday. Photo: PTI<br />
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting a flower exhibition in Gangtok, Sikkim, on Monday. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: All states in the country should follow the example of Sikkim by bringing select areas under organic farming and helping market the high-value produce, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.

Sikkim has set an example by moving towards organic farming back in 2003 and farmers of the hill state have persisted with strength, Modi said, adding, “other states should strategically take up a district and block for organic farming to initiate the process”.

Modi, who is on a two-day visit to the state, said that at the recently concluded climate summit in Paris, the entire world agreed to go back to basics. It means a change in lifestyle and to live in harmony with nature, which Sikkim exemplifies, Modi said.

The prime minister was speaking at a conference of state agriculture ministers in Gangtok. Sikkim is the first state in India to have converted all its farms to organic cultivation where no chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used.

The state stopped procuring chemical fertilizers and pesticides from 2004 and did away with subsidies to farmers for purchasing chemical inputs.

Owing to the state’s climatic variation, round-the-year cultivation for low-volume and high-value production is possible, said Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling. Organic farming established the subtle balance between man and nature and supported sustainable development in the state, Chamling said.

While addressing the conference, Modi said bio-waste could be a way to connect cleanliness with farming. Value addition is key to making farming profitable and all states should aid farmers in branding their produce, he said.

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