18 Jan, Gangtok (IPR) : Sikkim Organic Day 2018 concluded today with its valedictory function being presided over by the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling as the Chief Guest.
Held at the Conference Hall at Saramsa Garden, the valedictory function was also chaired by the Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Horticulture , Shri Somnath Poudal. Also present were the Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Heads of Departments, Officials and a host of progressive organic farmers of the State.
Upon his arrival, the Chief Guest took a tour of the Saramsa Garden where participating farmers from all over the State have set up stalls where their organic produce and other indigenious products have been put up for display.
The Chief Guest indulged in lively interactions with the farmers wherein he appreciated their efforts and encouraged them to progress further.
The Valedictory function started with the traditional offering of silk scarves to the Chief Guest, Shri Pawan Chamling by the Minister for AgRiculture and Horticulture after which the dignitaries participated in the ceremonial lighting of lamps.
In his address to the gathering, the Chief Minister congratulated all the officials and the people of the state for ensuring the continued success of the Sikkim Organic Mission. He stated that the time has come for the rest of the country and the world to realize the grave importance of organic farming. Citing the rampant use of chemical fertilisers in the rest of the country and the world which is adversely impacting the fragile eco system ,the Chief Minister said that going organic is the primary way in which global warming can be tamed to a large extent.The Chief Minister spoke on the many ways in which governmental policies like converting chemical fertilizer subsidies to organic subsidies can be devised and implemented to transform the world into an organic haven.
He also asserted that the greatest damage to the eco system has been done by mankind and that it is time for all of us to come together and work towards rebuilding all that we have lost and sustaining all that we have.
Speaking on the organic success story that the State has set foot on, the Chief Minister established that the declaration of the State as a 100% organic farming State was just the beginning and that the real task lies in sustaining and broadening the Sikkim organic story.
He called upon the farmers to immerse themselves in cash crop farming and also gave his feedback on the added benefits of medicinal herbs and plants like ginseng, chireyto and satuwab amongst others. The Chief Minister highlighted the growing need for all town dwellers of Sikkim to maintain kitchen gardens and fir all rural dwellers to ensure that not a stretch of rural land is left empty and barren.The Chief Minister also informed that a total of 14 co-operative apex banks are functional in the State and called upon the farmers to make the maximum use of this loan facility provided to them by the State government.
He expressed positivity that only organic and local produce will be sold in Sikkim after March 2018 and called upon the farming community to make this possible.
In conclusion, the Chief Minister stated that the 2nd Phase of organic farming will see maximum production of organic vegetables and fruits for sale in the State and anything in excess would be sent outside of the state for sale. He added that the State government will extend all possible help to the people in the field or agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and anything organic and ended his address with a clarion call for all to come together and take forward the success of the Sikkim organic mission.
In his address ,the Minister for Agriculturea and Horticulture, Shri Somnath Poudal expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Chief Minister for making Sikkim a model state despite its minute size in comparison to other States in thd country. He said that a nation will only progress if its villages progresses and added that the State Government is doing all that it can to ensure the upliftment of the rural populace by empowering them through visionary policies like organic farming . He spoke at length about the various policies that are being vigorously implemented to remove any hindrances like water scarcity, transport vehicles, cold storages , micro financing etc. that might affect the organic mission from progressing further. He stated that the farmers of Sikkim are ready to meet the needs of the State post March 2018 and supplemented that correct leadership has been one of the key factors for the resounding success of the State.
The welcome address was given by the Secretary,Agriculture and Horticulture Department Shri Khorlo Bhutia wherein he acknowledged the efforts of all the Chief Minister, the officials and most importantly the farmers for the success of the Sikkim Organic Mission. Shri Khorlo also presented a brief report of the Sikkim Organic Festival and informed that more than 100 progressive farmers took part in the festival.