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Letter to the Editor

To Sunday Shillong,

Thanks to the team for two exceptionally good and touching articles: ‘Coffee homeground’ and ‘How green was my village’ (Sunday Shillong; December 17). Both articles highlight the need for government support and initiatives in taking the picturesque state of Meghalaya forward in the frontiers of natural and organic agricultural productivity. Meghalaya, like Sikkim, is a smaller state of the Indian republic; and if followed cautiously and diligently can successfully transform into the second complete organic state for India.
Over application of agricultural chemicals such as pesticides, synthetic fertilisers, artificial plant growth hormones, crop desiccators, soil stimulants and other synthetic chemical alternatives are rapidly changing the nature and quality of the soil and impacting crop production around the world. Such chemical residues are infiltrating into our freshwater resources impacting food chains and food webs as well as percolating downwards to contaminate extremely valuable ground water resources.
Further, excessive industrial agriculture is impacting environment-friendly insect pollinators like the bees, moths, butterflies, pollination friendly beetles and flies as well as other non-pollinators and farmer-friendly predatory insects that keep insect pest population under control.
Soil micro-biota is also changing rapidly due to excess chemical influx. It is, therefore, important for all to realise the importance of organic production and shifting to chemical free agriculture.
Meghalaya has the potential to develop into a premier organic state of India. But we need everyone to join hands and cooperate and coordinate efforts to be successful in making that dream come true.
A new Meghalaya will be sprawling with local crop varieties and natural pollinators that can change the dimension and future of the state and her people in the not so distant future.

Thanking you
Saikat Kumar Basu

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