Assam Rifles ushering the NE region into a new epoch


Pothashang News Service: Imphal, September 25, 2019: Over the years Assam Rifles has served selflessly the people of North East Region. The Force has developed an unparalleled niche for itself and is blissfully referred to as “The Friends of the Hill People”. Living upto its century old tradition to assist the people of the region and also to safeguard the rich flora and fauna, the Assam Rifles has conceived a unique programme for the farmers of all states of the North East Region. The heterogeneous mix of farmers representing all states of the North East will be proceeding to Sikkim for a 20 days Organic Farming Tour.

This will not only give boost to the village level agriculture in the region but the composition of the tour epitomizes spirit of National Integration. Organic farming is a set of simple practices which bring into picture a diverse, healthy and sustainable crop production system, without the use of poisonous chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. It is a responsible way of farming which ensures that healthy, chemical free food is produced without harming the environment. North East though being a hot spot for diverse flora and fauna, still lacks awareness in the latest trends and technologies in the field of organic farming due geographical isolation and intense counter insurgency environment.

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India is the 9th largest producer of organic products in the world. The current Indian organic market is estimated at Rs. 4000 crores and is likely to increase to 10,000 to 12,000 crores by 2020. Indian organic market is growing steady with a combined annual growth rate of 25% compared to 16% global growth rates. The central govt has also contributed to this growth with schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East region and National programme of organic production.

The first name that comes to mind when you talk of organic farming in India is the state of Sikkim. Sikkim started its mission to become an organic state in 2003 and since then has achieved exceptional standard in the field finally realizing its dream by becoming the first 100% organic state in Jan 2016.

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With all these factors and deliberations, a vision to a create a Nucleus of farmers qualified in organic farming in every state of North East working in sync with the government’s golden principles of 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) given in Eighth Regional 3R Forum for Asia and Pacific to achieve clean water, clean land and clean air. The sentinels of the north east are conducting the  first  ever  organic farming  tour under Assam Rifles Civic Action  Programme which was flagged off by Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan, SM** DG Assam Rifles on Tuesday from HQ DGAR, Shillong.

The tour comprises of 50 farmers (31 Male and 19 Female) covering states of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Tripura. A planned and assiduous training of these farmers is coordinated by State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI) Sikkim. The tour will meet civil and military dignitaries and will also have the chance to witness the rich heritage culture of Sikkim by visiting different places in Sikkim as a part of sight seeing.

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The healthy and eco friendly organic farming practices once established in states of North East will help to achieve a higher per hectare income by 13% by use of in field organic fertilizers. The best example of the this has been observed in Arunchal Pradesh where  98% of Anjaw villages were practising some degree of opium production which gave them an income of 1 lakh per hectare but with the efforts of Assam Rifles and govt national policies on organic farming the farmers were encouraged in cultivation of high value organic medicinal plants boosting their income to three times as compared to opium farming reducing drug abuses in the state , leading to healthier ecosystem with sustained livelihood and income for the local populace preventing them from being lured into insurgency. Finally the tour with its vision will create a “Organic, Healthy and prosperous North East”.


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