CAU Imphal Chancellor Urges Northeast To Lead Organic Farming Revolution - Eastern Mirror
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CAU Imphal Chancellor urges Northeast to lead organic farming revolution

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Dec 14, 2023 11:20 pm
CAU officials at the CAU Regional AgriFair 2023-24 North East India at the Agri Expo, 4th Mile, Chümoukedima on Thursday.

DIMAPUR — Chancellor of the Central Agricultural University (CAU) Imphal, Prof. Pradeep Kumar Joshi, urged the northeast region to continue to champion the cause of organic farming and encouraged agricultural institutions to lead the way in adopting practices that reduce carbon footprints and enhance resilience to climate change.

“In the context of Northeast India’s unique agricultural landscape, the progress of organic farming in Northeast India is particularly noteworthy. Organic farming, with its emphasis on sustainability and minimal use of synthetic inputs, aligns perfectly with the ecological diversity of the region,” said the professor during the valedictory session of the CAU Regional AgriFair 2023-24 North East India Farmers and Students conclave.

The event was held on the theme ‘North East India Farmers Conclave: Igniting Agri Revolution’ at the Agri Expo in Chümoukedima on Thursday.

Joshi lauded the progress of organic farming in the region, emphasising its alignment with the ecological diversity. He noted that the fair has been a celebration of the ‘Agri Revolution’ and that the success of Northeast India’s agriculture lies in the collective efforts of farmers, researchers, agripreneurs, and all stakeholders.

He observed that advanced technologies like the use of drone, remote sensing and mobile-based technologies are helpful in the northeast region because of the terrain and farming systems.

“I am happy that CAU is looking into these technologies but I suggest that the University should seek more cooperation with like-minded institutions,” the chief guest added.

He also noted that the “buyer and seller meet” has played a crucial role in strengthening the farm-to-fork connection. “By facilitating direct interactions between producers and consumers, this platform has enhanced transparency and fairness in agricultural transactions. It empowers farmers to understand market demands, ensuring that their production aligns with consumer needs effectively,” he said.

In his presentation on the fair, Prof. Ph Ranjit Sharma, Director of Extension Education at CAU Imphal, highlighted recommendations including eco-tourism in tea gardens, insect use in animal feed, value addition in mushroom farming, integration of AI and robotics in education, and the introduction of telemedicine in veterinary sector, among others.

Describing the CAU as a representation of India’s rich diversity, boasting 13 campuses across the northeast states, Vice Chancellor Dr. Anupam Mishra said the varsity currently holds the 13th rank among Agricultural Universities in India, as per the ICAR.

Expressing gratitude to the government of Nagaland for orchestrating the inaugural fair, he articulated that the event aimed at uniting farmers, experts and agripreneurs under one platform to promote bio-economy in the region.

“The response was good and even exceeded our expectations. There was greater interest in application of modern technology. The highlight of the fair was the interaction between farmers and experts and agri undergraduate students. Another objective was attracting agri graduates to agri-preneurship,” he underlined.

Further, the CAU Vice Chancellor called for collaboration between the Agriculture department of Nagaland and agri colleges across the northeast, encouraging the exchange of ideas and collaborations.

Meanwhile, Dr. S Basanta Singh, Director of Instruction at CAU Imphal, reported that the students’ conclave garnered 1191 participants. The event showcased 89 stalls, comprising 54 government stalls/offices, 14 private companies/private stalls, five from entrepreneurs and self-help groups (SHGs), five from Cluster-Based Business Organisations (CBBOs), and 11 from Farmer-Based Organisations (FPOs).

Call for alternative farming system

At the input distribution programme held on the sidelines of the CAU conclave, state advisor for Agriculture, Mhathung Yanthan said that the agriculture system in the northeast region, which is mostly shifting cultivation, is not feasible anymore.

He underscored the need to find an alternative farming system, different applicable cropping system and varieties that are suitable to local conditions.

As per an update from the state DIPR, Yanthan said that these efforts must be undertaken collaboratively, fostering strong partnerships between research organisations, academic institutions, universities, and colleges.

He also stressed that relevant departments like ATMA, Agri and Allied Sector departments have to collaborate to share knowledge, information, and experiences, to see what the best formula is and how do the state can adapt and mitigate the process of climate change.

Reiterating the need for collaborations and coordination, the legislator pointed out that researchers, farmers, scientists, academics, and government agencies have to come together to address and face the challenges of climate change and climate variability.

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By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Dec 14, 2023 11:20:22 pm
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