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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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Vikas Khanna’s Upcoming Book To Focus On Grains And Northeast

Khanna also prepared recipes using Quaker Whole Oats, a new variant made from "uncut A grade oats"

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Vikas Khanna's Upcoming Book To Focus On Grains And Northeast
Vikas Khanna's Upcoming Book To Focus On Grains And Northeast, flickr

Michelin-starred Chef Vikas Khanna, who was here for a masterclass and launch of Quaker Whole Oats, says his next book will focus on grains and will also talk about India’s northeast region which he feels still holds its rich culture intact through food.

“My next thing (book) is only about grains and about north east. They are a culture which inspite of being modernised still holds on to the value of their grains and how they do farming. I was obssessed with their fish paddy farming,” Khanna, also PepsiCo India’s nutrition ambassador, told IANS on the sidelines of the event here.

At the event, Khanna also prepared recipes using Quaker Whole Oats, a new variant made from “uncut A grade oats”.

With the aim to showcase oats as an appetising and nutritious breakfast option, Khanna’s masterclass took food enthusiasts on an experiential journey. He used two recipes.

The Thandai Oats was loaded with the richness of dry fruits and aromatic ingredients, layered together with overnight soaked whole oats, spinach puree and topped with candied nuts.

grains
grains, Pixabay

The Curd Oats with Parmesan crisp was a mix of dried herbs, spices, cherries, plums, and baby vegetables like broccoli, beans, beetroots, carrots, cauliflower and corn, which gave regular “dahi” a makeover and amped it up for a tastier version.

Asked about how aware people have become when it comes to not skipping breakfast, Khanna said: “I think because of Internet and because of media, there is whole lot of awareness… The industry is changing because of requirement of people,” he said.

Also read: Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna joins Amritsar Farmers for Diwali at ‘Organic Diwali Farmers Fest’

“Breakfast is essential and everybody needs to understand that if stomach is empty, brain starts becoming extremely aggressive,” he added. (IANS)