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Assam plans to cover 20,000 hectares under organic farming in 4 years: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has directed the Agriculture Department to hold gaon sabhas in collaboration with the Panchayat and Rural Development Departments in order to interact with farmers in rural areas and raise awareness of government schemes & policies pertaining to agriculture and its allied sectors.

Shivam Dwivedi
Assam has exported reasonable quantities of agri-horti products to both near and far places in recent years
Assam has exported reasonable quantities of agri-horti products to both near and far places in recent years

Sarma stated at the opening of the 7th Assam International Agri-Horti Show in Khanapara that the goan sabhas will be used as a knowledge sharing platform with progressive and prospective farmers. He stated that the federal and state governments have implemented several programmes to promote agriculture and related industries. 

Furthermore, several innovations are taking place in the agri-horticulture sectors. However, many of these developments do not always reach the farmers for whom they are designed. The village-level interaction programme will raise awareness and close the gap between agricultural innovations and farmers.

The Chief Minister also stated that the three-day show is an important intervention in realizing the state's potential in the agri-horti sector because it will open up more avenues for meaningful collaboration and maximise the export potential of Assam's agri-horti products. He claims that Assam produces some of the most distinctive agri-horticultural products. These include joha rice, black rice, red rice, and other kinds of rice with extraordinary medicinal properties. Speaking of Karbi Anglong ginger and Tezpur litchi.

According to the Chief Minister, Assam has exported reasonable quantities of agri-horti products to both near and far places in recent years. Agricultural products are currently exported to countries such as the European Union, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the United Arab Emirates, among others. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, 14,042.35 MT of agri-horti produce was exported to various countries. During 2022-23, it increased dramatically, with 8,041.28 MT of agri-horti products exported in just four months, from April to July.

To top it all off, the Chief Minister stated that his government had notified an export and logistics policy in 2019 to promote the state's export potential. Dr. Sarma added that one of the policy's focus sectors is agro and allied products, food processing, floriculture, organic farming, bamboo products, ornamental fish and pisciculture, and medicinal and aromatic products.

The Chief Minister also stated that the state has recently refocused on natural farming. The state would take advantage of the natural advantage of low chemical use in farming. The Chief Minister stated that it is proposed to cover an area of 20,000 hectares under natural farming over the next four years, covering 15 districts and 150 clusters. For the spread and growth of natural farming, the identification of clusters in five districts, as well as progressive farmers to be developed as Master Trainers, has already been completed.

In addressing the significance of millets, the Chief Minister stated that the United Nations had designated 2023 as the International Year of Millets. In line with this, the state launched the Assam Millets Mission in November for a seven-year period from 2022 to 2028. The activities have already started. Because millets are highly nutritious, the primary goal of the Assam Millets Mission is to incorporate millets into the diets of Assamese people, particularly women and children. Expectant and lactating women would be prioritised among women.

Over the course of the mission, an estimated 50,000 hectares of millets will be planted. The Chief Minister also stated that as part of this show, a buyer-seller interaction would be held on December 18th, where state Agri-Horti products will be showcased. He stated that the interaction would provide international delegates with a platform to express their needs regarding the quality of Agri-Horti produce required from Assam.

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