December 13, 2003, organic-research.com/Times
of India: Mizoram Governor A. R. Kohli announced Saturday
that Mizoram will become India’s first organic state. "I
have asked the government to introduce a legislation in the forthcoming
Assembly session to ban fertilizers and pesticides and encourage
organic food," Kohli told industry leaders on Saturday at a
CII sponsored human resources conclave aimed at employment generation
for youth from North East region.
“We will be the first state to go for organic food production.
Once we do, other states in the region will follow," Kohli
Kohli stated in his speech that he believed it was the emphasis
of government to encourage self-employment among youth and bringing
prosperity to the region and he saw organic agriculture as his region’s
answer to this mission.
"Our focus is on organic food, plantation, tourism industry,
entertainment and sports activities, besides allied business like
food processing for the entire region," Kohli said, inviting
business leaders to partner with local entrepreneurs and transfer
technology and skills to build joint businesses.
Mizoram is not the only region to question the merits of conventional
agriculture. Vikram Bokey, namesake of the V B Foundation an organic
advocate, feels that theories which have propagated the use of fertilizers
and pesticides need to be investigated afresh. "The results
for the first few years can no doubt be impressive.
But what happens down the years when the soil is unable to take
the load anymore?" questions Bokey, pointing to the fact that
the high cost of chemical-based farming has begun to kill farmers
with the pressures of debt. "Our studies have shown that the
chemical cost per acre for sugarcane is Rs 17,000 in order to yield
35 tons of produce while an organic farm costs Rs 2200 per acre
for an output of 60 tons," he states.