Dimapur, May 14 (EMN): In an effort to make Nagaland an organic State, department of Agriculture has demarcated 1700 ha area of land as organic and undertaken necessary steps to identify specific crops in each district for organic certification in phase-wise manner.
This was stated by the Additional Director of State Agriculture department, Kevikhu Achumi, during an orientation course on ‘Soil health management’ on May 11, jointly organised by the department of Agricultural Extension, SASRD: Nagaland University, in collaboration with Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) Eastern and Southern Region at SASRD: NU, Medziphema campus.
Kevikhu Achumi added that the department aims to bring 7000 ha area under organic cultivation and from thereon continue to work towards achieving organic status in the whole state. He further informed that the department has registered 14 FPOs under mission organic value chain development for the north eastern region (MOVCDNER).
Special guest and Dean of SASRD: NU, Prof. AK Makar, while emphasising upon the need of organic manures, called upon the FAI officials to coordinate and affiliate with related industries so that students could be nurtured as per the prevailing demand in agricultural sector.
S Narayanan, chairman FAI of Southern Region and Director (marketing) of SPIC, Chennai, expressed concern that intensive agriculture over a period of time has led to nutrient mining and resulted in multi nutrient deficiencies both in the soils and the crops. He added that organic carbon content of the soil has also gone down abnormally which led to reduction in microbial population.
He, therefore, stressed on the need for adopting integrated nutrient management to help rejuvenate soil health.
YVN Murthy, Regional Head of FAI Southern and Eastern Region, while briefing about the orientation course, emphasised on fertiliser pricing policy as one of the most important factors for promoting the balanced use of fertilisers.
While the Government of India is spending a sum of about INR 70,000 crore annually on fertiliser subsidy, he stated that it has not served the basic objective of the fertiliser policy, which should aim at promoting balanced use of nutrients.
Chairperson of the inaugural programme, Prof. KK Jha, Head, Department of Agricultural Extension and convener of the orientation course, asserted that the management goal for a healthy agricultural soil is to supply the nutrients needed for optimal plant growth in the right quantity and at the right time while minimising nutrient losses to the surroundings.
He thanked FAI for selecting the SASRD campus to organise the orientation course on soil health management for the benefit of the students and other stakeholders.
In the technical sessions, YVN Murthy expounded on fertiliser scenario, policy and its impact on soil health and balanced fertilisation reforms needed for INM.
S Narayanan speaking on the topic ‘Enhancing farmers’ income, Need for business intelligence and marketing research,’ stressed that technology has to be unique to suit a particular crop in prevailing eco-system. He, therefore, stated that every crop should be dealt separately to derive ideal plant and processes to make farming profitable.
Sanjay Arora, Deputy General Manager (Marketing) RCF, Kolkata, spoke on “Critical role and importance of logistics” and also made a presentation on personality development.
Kumud Chandra Sharma, Assistant General Manager, DCM Shriram, Guwahati, spoke on ‘Organic fertilisers and integrated nutrient management: Key to soil health and financial aspects of marketing,’ while Dr. AK Singh, Associate Prof. dept of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science (ACS), SASRD: NU, spoke on ‘Soil management and related issues,’ and Dr. AP Singh, Assistant Prof. dept of Agronomy, SASRD: NU, made a presentation on ‘Organic farming- problems and prospects in Nagaland.’
Altogether, 116 students from B.Sc (Hon.) Agriculture final year, M.Sc. (Ag) students, and Ph.D scholars as well as faculty of SASRD:NU participated in the day-long programme.