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Winter school on 'developments in organic farming ' gets underway CS urges all stakeholders to work in tandem for achieving goal of 'Mission Organic' in Isles

Port Blair ,

        The 21 day Winter School on 'Developments in Organic farming in Tropical Islands of India', a first of its kind, organized by ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute and sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi got underway with its inauguration in the conference hall of CIARI here this morning. The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Anindo Majumdar was the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony. The Secretary, (AH&VS, Agri./Fisheries), Shri Ramesh Verma, Director ICAR-CIARI, Dr. A. Kundu, Course Director, Dr. B. Gangaiah, Course Coordinator, Dr. Sachidanand Swain, Course Director, Dr. K. Abirami, representatives from NABARD & Agriculture, Scientists/Subject matter specialists from CIARI, KVKs and 25 trainees from different parts of mainland were present on the occasion.
      Addressing the gathering, the Chief Secretary congratulated CIARI for organizing this programme here in the Islands. He threw light on the significance of organic farming which is gaining popularity across the globe, and also the adverse effects of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on human and marine life.        He also highlighted about the rich biodiversity of A&N Islands which is a home to many endemic species & medicinal plants. The Chief Secretary remarked that while the importance of organic farming is being stressed upon, the success of it can only be achieved through genuine cooperation from all stakeholders, especially the farmers; and called upon all stakeholders to work in tandem in achieving the goal of 'Mission Organic' here in the Islands. He said, Sikkim being the first state to be declared fully organic, serves as a source of inspiration and information for others to emulate.
       The Chief Secretary also informed that Little Andaman and Neil Island have been selected for implementing organic farming and experts from Agriculture Department and Senior officers from the Administration are visiting Neil Island from time to time to access the challenges and problems faced by the farmers; and such visits will be a continuous process. He also lauded CIARI for its contribution towards improving productivity in Isles through coordination with other line Departments. He said, the 21 day Winter School is very significant and the vital knowledge of the experts will contribute towards addressing various challenges in Isles which will further propel the growth of organic farming here.  
       Speaking on the occasion, the Secretary (Agri/AH&VS), Shri Ramesh Verma said natural farming is the concept the world is now looking at and the feedbacks from the participants during the programme will contribute towards improving 'Mission Organic' here in Isles. He threw light on the evolution of Agriculture, which has evolved with the advancement of science and technology over the years. He also highlighted about the ill-effects of chemical fertilizers and the need for providing safe and healthy food.  
       In his introductory address, Dr. Gangiah said, about 25 trainees in the rank of Assistant Professor / Scientist / Subject Matter Specialists from mainland and A & N Islands are taking part in the programme. He said, during the 21 day programme, the trainees will be imparted with knowledge about the latest developments in organic farming by experts from CIARI and also from mainland, adding that field visits to organic farmers' farms have also been planned.
       In his presidential address, Dr. A. Kundu said the Winter School on 'Developments in Organic farming in Tropical Islands of India' is a very timely initiative and the first of its kind in the Island. He also spoke about importance of organic farming and its future scope. He said that good quality food is essential and organic farming is the solution towards providing safe and healthy food.
    The programme concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Course Coordinator, Dr. Sachidananda Swain.