Port Blair, Nov. 21: The two-days training programme on Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)-India Certification for A&N (UT) for Lead Resource Persons (LRPs) working on Organic & Natural Farming, Regional Council registered under PGS-India Programme, Service providers and Officers/Officials of Department of Agriculture, A&N Islands got underway with its inauguration by the Joint Director of Agriculture, Shri Ramesh Kumar in the conference hall of Directorate of Agriculture, Haddo today. The programme is being organized by Regional Centre for Organic and Natural Farming, (RCOF) Bhubaneswar in association with Department of Agriculture, Andaman and Nicobar Administration.

Speaking on the occasion, the Joint Director (Agri) said, the Department of Agriculture, A&N Administration is constantly making concerted efforts for promoting organic agriculture in Andaman & Nicobar Islands in a mission mode to bring changes in the conventional agriculture. Organic farming can be a good business, but it is important that we should have organic farming certification in this UT. People choose organic food because they know that it is safe to consume and its certifications helps them in proving that. With the aid of Certification, business owners will also be able to achieve a fair price for their farm produce and there will be demand for their produce. He urged the trainee Officers to take advantage of this opportunity and acquire the knowledge on PGS India Certification Process for effective implementation of the same in these Islands through PKVY Scheme.

Dr. Vachspati Pandey, Scientific Officer, RCONF, Bhubaneswar briefed about the course contents of programme and insisted for effective implementation of PGS India Certification in these Islands and the two days training programme will address the issues.

Dr. A. Velmurugan, Principal Scientist, Head of NRM Division, CIARI in his address briefed about the importance of Natural Farming and highlighted the need to develop innovative techniques & marketing strategies & evolve targeted schemes to encourage the Organic Farming community.  Dr. Y. Ramakrishna, Principal Scientist & Head, ICAR-KVK, Sippighat highlighted that KVK-CIARI, Sippighat is identified as one of the PGS-India Regional Council Centre for PGS India Certification in this UT and the Department of Agriculture, A&N Administration is the Implementing Agency. For effective implementation, a plan will be formulated during this two days training programme with the coordination of Department of Agriculture for successful implementation of PGS Certification in this UT.

Altogether 22 officers from Agriculture Department are participating in the training programme. The programme was also attended by Dr. Subramaniyam,  Sr Scientist, ICAR-CIARI,  Dr. N. Bommaya Swamy, SMS  & Dr. B.K. Nanda, SMS,   from ICAR-KVK, Sippighat.

Earlier, the Assistant Director (Agri), Extn, Shri C. Vinod Kumar, welcomed the gathering while Smti Mary Magdalene, Agriculture Officer proposed the  vote of thanks.