Citizens' Issues
Sikkim assumes leadership role in organic farming
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lauded Sikkim's effort to become an organic state. Any which way you look at it, Sikkim has assumed leadership in organic agriculture. The rest of the country will have to follow suit.
 
Years of toil and leadership has made this happen. The people of Sikkim, the farmers, agriculturists, bureaucrats and politicians have all played their part in this great Sikkimese narrative. 
 
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 serves 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. And so many such like empirical evidences that are discussed in different settings. 
 
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."
 
How significant is this 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.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

11 months ago

Why Sikkim is leading in organic farming? There are several states in India, in which few pockets are leading in organic farming.

SC restrains government from divesting HZL stake
The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained the government from divesting of its 29 percent stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) till further orders.
 
Pulling up the government, an apex court bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi asked: "What is the compulsion to divest now? Why are you in hurry? You have already committed a violation when you divested in 2002 and this does not mean we will allow you to sell the remainder of the stake without amending the law."
 
The court's observation came as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi sought to defend the government decision to offload its remaining stake in HZL.
 
Rohatgi contended that HZL had ceased to be a government company after the 2002 disinvestment and the government was no longer interested in continuing with it.
 
Prashant Bhushan, the counsel for the petitioner, National Confederation of Officers Association, told the court that if an illegality was committed in 2002, it could not be perpetuated. 
 
Bhushan said 29 percent government stake could not be divested without parliamentary approval.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Subramani P K

11 months ago

Govt. should withdraw from running of industries and leave it to private players with necessary regulations. Their concentration should be to govern the country as their major time is required to have good governance and wasting time & money on industries without any profit or steady income is not desirable. So divestment of all the stakes of govt. in industries should be permitted by SC without any hindrance.

China's growth hits 25-year low
Beijing, China's economy grew 6.9 percent year-on-year in 2015, the slowest annual expansion in a quarter of a century, according to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Tuesday.
 
Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.8 percent year-on-year, the lowest quarterly rate since the global financial crisis, Xinhua cited from the data.
 
The Chinese government targeted an annual economic growth of around 7 percent for 2015.
 
The country's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 67.67 trillion yuan (about $10.3 trillion) in 2015, with the service sector accounting for 50.5 percent, according to the NBS.
 
China's economy still "ran within a reasonable range" in 2015, with its structure further optimised, upgrading accelerated, new growth drivers strengthened and people's lives improved, NBS chief Wang Baoan said.
 
However, the country faces a daunting task in deepening reforms on all fronts and needs to step up supply-side structural reforms, he said.
 
Sagging global trade, rising financial risks and changing domestic market conditions were among the factors affecting the economy, Wang said.
 
He also pointed to an ailing property sector and stock market fluctuations but said their impact on the economy was either limited or yet to be evaluated.
 
Wang dismissed worries about China's government debts, noting that they accounted for less than 40 percent of the country's GDP, well below the internationally accepted alert line of 60 percent.
 
Viewed against an international backdrop, a 6.9 percent growth was "not a low rate" and outshined other global economies, Wang said, defending it as a hard-won achievement.
 
Though slowing, China still contributed more than 25 percent of the global economic growth, he said.
 
China's efforts to make the economy greener and more productive also sank in, with energy consumption per unit of GDP falling 5.6 percent and overall labour productivity, measured by output per worker, rising 4,733 yuan last year, Wang said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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