Tapping the N-E’s organic farming potential

India’s North-East, comprising eight States, is largely unspoilt by modern agricultural practices, which involve heavy use of agro-chemicals and chemical fertilisers. For this precise reason, the region is a natural choice for promoting organic farming in the country. Sikkim, the first organic State in India, has already shown the way for the other States in the region.

According to the estimates available with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), as of 2017-18, nearly 90,500 hectares of land in the NE region is already under organic cultivation. Even though Sikkim accounts for more than three-fourths of this, other States such as Meghalaya and Assam have shown tremendous progress in embracing organic farming. As per the available statistics, another 77,600 hectares is the process of switching over to organic cultivation. The conversion process normally takes three years.