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Monday, June 24, 2024

Big move on organic cultivation, 100,000 hectares to be converted in Meghalaya

SHILLONG, FEB 23: Making a bold move to boost organic farming, Meghalaya minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Ampareen Lyngdoh on Friday announced that the state is aiming to convert over 100,000 hectares of land for organic cultivation under the Meghalaya State Organic Mission 2024-2028.

Replying in the Assembly, Ampareen said, “The Meghalaya State Organic Mission 2024-28 has been formulated and launched on February 15, 2024, with the ambitious aim of converting and sustaining 100,000 hectares of land under National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP)-certified organic cultivation.”

She said six service providers have been empanelled to facilitate certification processes and implement the mission.

The minister also said that an organic society has been formed named Meghalaya’s Natural and Organic Society for Livelihood and Innovation in Agriculture (MEGNOLIA) to implement the organic and natural farming initiatives in the state.

The state government has last year introduced the Meghalaya State Organic and Natural Farming Policy 2023

Leader of opposition Ronnie V Lyngdoh while raising his supplementary question asserted the need for the government to take steps to help farmers move away from use of chemical fertilizers to organic farming as it will fetch them a good price. He also urged the state government to help farmers market their organic produce.

To this, Ampareen said that the state government had discontinued the use of chemical fertilizer but in 2022, farmers have expressed their inability to shift from inorganic farming to organic farming. “(However), we have looked at the entire map of cultivable land and we are now slowly increasing and placing it under the map of organic farming,” she added.

Former chief minister Mukul Sangma while participating in the discussion said there is need to be caution on duplication of schemes meaning areas already taken up under state plan are also taken up from funds of Government of India.

VPP leader Ardent M Basaiawmoit also suggested the need to have a data entry of farmers to ensure the state has an accurate statistic on the numbers of farmers in the state.

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