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Tue, 23 Jul 2019

Northeast Today

Meghalaya to Follow Footsteps of Sikkim

Meghalaya to Follow Footsteps of Sikkim
November 01
15:33 2014

Following in the footsteps of Sikkim, Nagaland and Mizoram which decided to go 100 organic, the Meghalaya government is set to initiate a process to get its horticultural and agricultural produce certified as “organically produced”.

“Traditionally Meghalaya is a producer of organic crops with the slash and burn method of agriculture in practice among farmers for a long time, so what is needed is to certify them as organically-produced”, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture, government of Meghalaya P. Kharkongor said.

Kharkongor explained that crops like cashew, orange, pineapple and spices like ginger, turmeric and vegetables were being organically grown and the tag was required to market them among health-conscious consumers. “Over the next two to three years we want to convert most of the already traditionally organic areas into certified-organic areas. For the process the Chief Minister will initiate the programme named Mission Organic in another couple of months,” the officer said.

But unlike Mizoram, Sikkim and Nagaland, Meghalaya will not be an entirely organic state, he said. “We are not taking the entire state. At the moment we are trying out some experiments with some of our yields and see how it goes from there,” Kharkongor said, adding that Meghalaya will take about 20,000 hectares of land a year with a plan to convert 10,000 farms into organic-certified ones.

Certification agencies accredited to the Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority (APEDA) after inspecting an area to make sure it is absolutely chemical-free will provide a organic stamp. “Once the agencies are certain that an area have no history of chemicals then the certification will be fast. But in certain areas where they find out chemical have been used certification will take minimum three years. So in next two to three years we should be able to certify,” the official said.

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