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Sikkim showing way in organic agriculture: PM Modi

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Sikkim: Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Sikkim and its endeavor to become an organic state. In all aspects, Sikkim has assumed leadership in organic agriculture which will result in the rest of the country to follow suit.

The achievement is the result of years of toil by people of Sikkim, the farmers, agriculturists, bureaucrats and politicians which have all played a pivotal part in making this happen.

One must commend Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking a look at the great potential of this venture. He has found it to be a significant public policy move that can transform the agriculture policy within the rest of India. Little wonder then that he addressed a meeting of all agriculture ministers of the Indian states to push home the point of going organic.

Everyone is aware that the Himalayas serve the Indo-Gangetic plains as well as the Assam ecosystem by just sending down water through its myriad rivers. It also extends much-needed replenishment of fertile top soil carved out from the mountains.

Climate change may actually disrupt this entire process. The rivers are going to be seasonal as more and more warming will lead to drying up of the important glaciers and permafrost. Loss of biodiversity all across the Himalaya will prove very costly for the nation.

The entire Himalayan ecosystem is under threat from climate change and global warming. We have signs of that even as our farmers are reporting that oranges are better off in higher altitudes than before.

In order to combat and delay the problems of ecosystem services from the Himalayas, the remedy will be to start with organic farming. Let the entire Himalayan belt get into farming the way it was done traditionally but with much more scientific inputs and understanding.

This will change the way we all think of farming and getting our food. Food security will once more move into the hands of farmers rather than remain in the clutches of politicians and bureaucrats.

The prime minister’s deep dive into sustainability will have the overtones of the global understanding of sustainable development. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) writes on Sustainable Development Goal #2: “Organic agriculture supports and enhances ecologically sound systems of food production that can achieve food security by increasing and stabilising yields, improving resistance to pests and diseases, and battling poverty through reducing debt incurred by the purchase of expensive chemical inputs.”

Its significance can be fathomed by the keen interest that Sikkim’s organic journey is being viewed all over the world.

Prime Minister Modi sees great public policy value in this. He also sees that it can be scaled up to all the other states of India. This perhaps is a fine example of cooperative federalism.

But greater still is that the significance of organic agriculture is the path changing public policy initiative in agriculture which can be compared to the Green Revolution of the Nehruvian era. The next phase of food security will be built on Sikkim’s success and Sikkim’s mantra of clean food, clean water and clean air. Don’t pay more for cleaning the environment. Nature’s way is the best.

This is a true partnership at play between the prime minister and the state Chief Minister.(IANS)(Image-sikkimorganicmission.gov.in)

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)

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