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Nagaland

‘Educated young needed for solutions to agriculture issues’

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By EMN Updated: Nov 26, 2019 10:41 pm
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Our Reporter
Dimapur, Nov. 26 (EMN): There is a need for young people who are not only educated and qualified but have an enterprising spirit that will intervene in the need for practical solutions to production issues, said minister for Agriculture G Kaito Aye at the 5th International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements Asia Organic Youth Forum’s (IFOAM Asia) residential training programme.

The programme was organised by the Nagaland Organic Konnect and the government of Nagaland. The inaugural programme of the event was conducted on Nov. 26 at the Niathu Resort in Dimapur. The three-day event will conclude on Nov. 28.

Speaking during the occasion, Aye spoke about the present need for practical solutions to food production issues and food security without adversely affecting the ecosystem and the environment.

‘We need young leaders who can champion the cause of environment protection while managing enterprises that are sustainable,’ the minister said.

Aye advised the young to engage in agriculture, as their society, economy and the future depend on ingenuity and solutions. The young, educated, qualified and enterprising people leading the way in farming and food production sector will boost the economy, create employment opportunities and development for the people and region.

Aye said the government job sector is already exhausted, while every year thousands of young people drop out of school without functional skills to help them pursue viable employment avenues. To resolve this issue they require creative solutions to mitigate the problem.

“Young people must take interest in farming. Farming can never go out of fashion. Without farming there would be no food on the table,” he said.

The minister said farmers are the backbone of the rural economy and the food production system. He said Nagaland is an agrarian society with over 70% of the population living in the rural areas and majority of the households practicing farming.

Aye urged the gathering to first empower farmers in the villages who are practically engaged in farming, working in close contact with natural resources and producing food not only for their family but for the entire community in the state too.

It is a great opportunity for Nagaland to host a programme like the International Organic Forum to highlight the state’s rich agro-diversity and its immense economic potential for this region, Aye said. He urged the gathering to deliberate on how to formulate effective policies for all stakeholders of agriculture and the food production sector so that gaps between cultivators and the market can be filled.

Aye said that the state’s department of Agriculture had been working with farmers for several decades. ‘We have made tangible progress with scientific interventions and farmer’s education but more is yet to be done for sustainable agricultural practices.’

He informed that so far 6000 hectares have been certified organic, while 7000 hectares are in the process of conversion in compliance with the National Programme for Organic Production, with OneCert International Pvt. Ltd. as the certifying agency.

Aye said further that the farmers and producer organisations and entrepreneurs in the Mission Organic Value Chain Development have started selling their produce and products under the brand ‘Naga Organic.’

Earlier during the occasion the opening message was delivered by the president of IFOAM Asia, Zhou Zejiang. The official said IFOAM Asia is one of the most active branches of IFOAM-Organics International. In six and a half year it has accomplished much success, it was informed.

Appreciating that there are many youths in the organic produce sector, Zejiang said the organisation has been conducting similar activities in different countries.

 

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By EMN Updated: Nov 26, 2019 10:41:59 pm