‘World Soil Health Day’ observed in Pakyong
05 Dec, Pakyong (IPR) : On the occasion of “World Soil Health Day”, the Food Security and Agricultural Development Department (FS&ADD) organised a program that was hosted by the Hon’ble Minister FS&ADD, Shri Somnath Poudal at the Community Hall in Pakyong, East Sikkim.
The Hon’ble Speaker of Sikkim State Legislative Assembly, Shri K.N Rai was present as the Chief Guest and area M.L.A, Shri.D.T Lepcha was the Guest of Honour. Also in attendance were Shri.B.B Rai, Shri.Bikram Pradhan, Shri.Bimal Dawari,Shri.Mechung Bhutia, Shri. Hemendra Adhikari and Shri.Gopal Baraily and Shri.Khorlo Bhutia, Secretary FS&ADD. Officials and Staff of the concerned Departments and Pakyong Sub-Division, Press and the Progressive Farmers from the area were present on this occasion.
The Director of FS&ADD, MR.A.K Thapa delivered the welcome address after the ceremonial lighting of lamps and offering of silk scarves and flower bouquets.
Shri.Khorlo Bhutia, in his address welcomed all the dignitaries and the progressive farmers for being a part of this occasion which is primarily to highlight the importance of soil. He highlighted the alarming trend of Climate Change and added that 10 million tones of nutrient are depleted from the soil every year, hence, calling for an urgent need to conserve and protect the soil. He added that progressive farmers are given many facilities from the State Government like, exposure trips every year and so the farmers need to work hard and take full advantage of this and work hard towards ensuring that Sikkim’s yield improves.
Shri Somnath Poudal reiterated that the rapidly advancing world has led to the diminished importance of farming and agriculture. He added that the Organic Mission has put Sikkim on the right path and will help in regaining Sikkim’s agricultural glory. He assured all the farmers that Marketing of the Organic Produce will be handled by the Government efficiently.
The Guest Of Honour, Shri.DT Lepcha thanked all the officials for making him a part of such a momentous occasion and put forward some suggestions in front of the concerned Department. He suggested that Minor Irrigation Channel should be provided to not only those having agricultural land but also to non-agricultural land owners so that even they will be encouraged to shift towards agriculture and farming. He requested the Department to look into the issue of outlet and marketing for the convenience of the farmers and raised the importance of putting up Sikkim’s organic produces in the fruit and vegetable stalls of Sikkim.
Shri.K.N Rai, in his address stressed on the importance of soil. He compared a healthy soil and its produce with that of a healthy mother and child and requested all to respect and worship Mother Earth for our own benefit. He said that the system of soil testing and providing Soil Health Cards will prove to be highly advantageous. He stressed on the need for proper dissemination of information from the Officials and the Press to the people living in all areas of Sikkim. Shri.Rai requested all the officials to deliberate and implement upon the new pro-agriculture schemes with utmost dedication and vigilance. The Chief Guest handed out token Soil Health Cards to seven progressive farmers of the area.
The aim of the program was to educate farmers about the importance of the soil health and its contribution in enhancing crop production. Soil Health Card is prepared by the Soil Testing Laboratory of the Department and will be distributed to all the farmers. These health cards have been prepared for the area of 10 Hectares each and contains information regarding the health of the soil along with the recommendations for major crops on the basis of nutrient analysis. It was also informed that the process of soil testing will be completed within one year in Sikkim in comparison to the three years taken by other States. It was also informed that East District has already completed the process.