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SEMINAR ON SUSTAINABLE ARICULTURE BY IFOAM, SWITZERLAND

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A special one-day Seminar cum Interaction Session on Sustainable Agriculture was held at Livingstone Foundation Hr. Sec. School, Dimapur on 4thDecember 2017 with Dr. Frank Eyhorn, Vice President of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)& Sr. Adviser, Sustainable Agriculture HELVETAS, Swiss Incorporation, Zurich, Switzerland as the main Guest Speaker.The Seminar, which was conducted for the Grade-XI and XII students from all streams, focused mainly on the importance and viability of organic agriculture in Nagaland.

Speaking on the key aspect of a long-term association with organic agriculture in India, Dr. Frank Eyhorn was grateful to the Chairman of LFHSS, Mr. Andrew Ahoto for welcoming the team from Switzerland and for organizing the seminar at the school which, according to him, would be truly fruitful for the student community. According to Dr. Eyhorn, organic farming has a key role with regards to global challenges. It is pertinent to imbibe the basics of agricultural sustainability in young students as it provides livelihood, food sufficiency and a healthy way of life among many other positive aspects. He also underscored the benefits of incorporating organic agriculture through the use of organic manures, PYM’s and compost, preventive methods for pest and disease control, crop-rotation and inter-cropping and by effective soil management techniques. Speaking on the sidelines of the future of organic farming in Nagaland, he said that the traditional mode of farming in Nagaland with minimal use of chemical fertilizers can be pursued as a strong base for setting up of Organic Farms throughout the length and breadth of the state.

Mr. Swaraj (Rajah) Banerjee of the Pioneer in Global Organic Tea and Bio Dynamic in Tropical Agriculture who is also the Chairman of Makaibari Tea Estate & Tea Classic also supplemented the importance of Organic Farming. He highlighted about Nagaland’s potentials in organic farming as it has rich eco-diversity and the Nagas are already richly engaged in pisciculture and bamboo farming on a commercial level. He spoke highly of the Chairman of Livingstone Foundation Hr. Sec. School, Mr. Andrew Ahoto who has taken a wonderful initiative to make organic agriculture viable in the remotest corners of Nagaland.

Presenting his word of appreciation, Mr. Andrew Ahoto expressed his gratefulness to all the invited guests including Dr. Frank Eyhorn, Mr. Swaraj Banerjee AND Dr. Akali Sema of SASRD, Nagaland University, for making the seminar a fruitful affair. According to him, Dr. Eyhorn is on a visit to more than six Indian states including Uttarakhand, Sikkim, West Bengal and Nagaland for conducting symposiums and seminars on organic agriculture.

Earlier in the morning, the programme began with the invocation prayer which was said by Mrs. Ani Yepthomi, Director Junior High, LFHSS followed by welcome address by Mr. Prabhat Mandal, Head of Academics. This was followed by felicitation of guests by Mr. Andrew Ahoto. A special number entitled ‘Secrets’ was also presented on the occasion by Ms. Duangaimeilu Panmei of Grade-XII Arts. The other dignified guests who attended the seminar included Mr. Mark Tis Cher, TV Journalist from Switzerland, Dr. Akali Sema, Professor, SASRD, Nagaland University and Ms. Christina Caprez, Radio Journalist from Switzerland and her baby girl Ms. Flavia Caprez. Mr. Vernon Fernandez was the MC of the programme.