Agartala, Feb 25: Tripura has initiated organic farming in the state and would take lessons from Sikkim on this, Agriculture Minister Aghore Debbarma said here on Saturday. “To expand the organic farming of vegetables in Tripura we would take help and knowledge from Sikkim,” the minister said. He said that the agriculture department has earmarked 2,000 hectares of land for organic farming of vegetables this year in Tripura and based on the success and demand gradually the area would be extended. “When the production would start, for marketing of the organic vegetables, one counter would be set up in each district and sub-divisions across the state,” said Debbarma, also a veteran tribal leader.
Debbarma said currently the department in association with the farmers’ club are encouraging organic farming in a big way. Last year, Prime Minister rendra Modi declared Sikkim as India’s first organic state where farmers started out by using animal manures instead of chemical fertilisers and pesticides back in 2003. Following Sikkim’s step, some other states — Kerala, Rajasthan and Aruchal Pradesh — have also diverted all their efforts towards reaching the goal of becoming fully organic. The agriculture minister also said that due to the multi-faceted schemes and steps, the number of tribal “Jhumias” (shifting cultivators) in Tripura decreased by 70.27 per cent. Tribals, who constitute 27 per cent of 45.58 million people in the Northeastern states, traditiolly practice ‘Jhum’ or slash-and-burn method of cultivation. (IANS)