Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) of Leh headed by the Ladakh Environment and Health Organisation (LEHO) in collaboration with the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh organised a Ladakh Organic Farmers Meet here on Wednesday to advocate for sustainable agriculture and organic farming in Ladakh.
Other NGOs which supported that event include LEDeG, SECMOL, Ladakh Women’s Alliance and Ladakh Amchi Sabha.
Executive Councillor for Agriculture, LAHDC, Leh, Tsering Wangdus, who inaugurated the organic farmers festival, said that the present LAHDC Leh has kept agriculture as its top priority sector since around 70 per cent of Ladakh is dependent upon agriculture and land based economy.
Talking about Ladakh going completely organic in a gradually way, Wangdus said that LAHDC has decided to achieve this in collaboration with local NGOs that are promoting sustainable development in Ladakh.
“LAHDC will also encourage promotion of cash crops and revival of second crop cultivating tradition such as buckwheat and mustard,” Wangdus said adding that buckwheat is sold at a very high price at the international market and has numerous health benefits. By this way farmers can fetch a good income from their produces, he added.
He said that LAHDC is planning to construct a cold storage in Nubra so that produces of local farmers don’t go waste.
President LEHO, Dr Mohammad Deen said that farming has been a neglected sector for decades and today farming can be made attractive and income generating avenue by extending its seasons with the use of technologies such as green houses at a large scale with support from LAHDC.
Talking about the benefits of going organic, Executive Director LEDeG, Dr Nordan Odzer spoke about how deceases like cancer and sugar are caused by changing food habits and also because of use of chemicals in mass production of food.
SDM Nubra, Sonam Norbu, Manzoor Ahmed and Ibrahim officials of Agriculture Department and progressive farmers namely Phuntsog Wangchuk Panamik, Phuntsog Wangmo Sumoor and Mohd Ali Thang also spoke on the occasion.
Various stalls showcasing different agricultural products of Nubra displayed by as many as 12 self help women groups included handicrafts, dry fruits, apricot oil, seabuckthorn juice, local cuisine such as Mokmok, Khambir and Tapu. Colourful cultural performances by artists of Summur and Diskit villages were also presented on the occasion.
It is pertinent to mention here that the first ever Ladakh Organic Farmers meet held at Leh historic Polo Ground last month under the chairmanship of United Nations Ambassador for Mountain Development Partnership, Drigung Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche was organised by LEHO, LEDeG, Ladakh Women’s Alliance, Amchi Sabha, SECMOL and Go Green Go Organic in association with the LAHDC, Leh, with the aim to promote sustainable agriculture development in Ladakh.