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Tomar emphasizes on technology & research for Agriculture


DIMAPUR, JUNE 26: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar today emphasized on the use of technology and research in the field of agriculture to improve the condition of farmers in the country as well as the Northeast, with particular reference to Nagaland.
The Union Minister, who is on a 2-day visit to Nagaland inaugurated the Farmers’ Exhibition-cum-Workshop at the Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Medziphema, and opined that the Institute has been playing a very important role in the interest of the farmers, the State and uplifting the economy of the Northeast region, besides creating employment opportunities.
Stating that the agriculture sector in the country is a very important sector, Tomar said this sector, be it any crop, it has its own importance. He said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the reins of the country, he has tried to make agriculture the best in the country.
Tomar said PM Modi has envisioned increasing the income of farmers, seeing that they deal in remunerative crops, make use of technology and avail the benefits of the researches done in the agriculture sector by Indian scientists, besides ensuring that the State Governments receive adequate funding for the agriculture sector.
The Union Minister observed that although tremendous work has been done in the agriculture sector in the country, the Northeastern Region has remained neglected for long. He said the Northeast is remote and there are many obstacles due to which most of the projects and schemes of the Government of India have not reached the region’s farmers.
However, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given special focus on the Northeast so that the Government gives attention to Northeastern States in terms of funds, implementation of schemes and the Central Government continues to visit the Region.
He said the people of the Northeast might have seen that the Prime Minister has visited the region several times and every 3 to 4 months some Central Ministers visit to Region to oversee the schemes. These Ministers also see that if there are any problems in the Northeastern Region, those problems are solved by the Central Government, Tomar said adding, he has visited Nagaland for the same purpose.
“Today when I came to Nagaland and when I saw the activities of the CIH, the farmers, the FPOs, Start-ups… I felt that the Northeast is now everybody’s region…it is ready to walk together, shoulder to shoulder with the country”, Tomar said.
Assuring the gathering that the Horticulture Institute is an institution and that nobody should have any confusion about it, the Minister said no institute under the Indian Council of Research is going anywhere. He said improvements are necessary in view of administrative facilities, monitoring and reformation, as the times demand therefore the Central Government tries to bring about improvement. However, he said in terms of Horticulture Institute (CIH), it would remain where it is hence there would be adequate funding from the Centre. He also assured that the Central Government would try its best to improve the CIH further.
On the horticulture sector of Nagaland, the Union Minister said the State is horticulture-friendly. “Be it pineapple, be it banana, be it mushroom or Naga Chilli…there are many such crops which give Nagaland a special position in the country”, the Minister said.
He said the agriculture produce in Nagaland have potentials for exports adding since this is a border State the roads for exports open from here.
He said farmers’ first priority should be to increase their production but they should also ensure quality of their products, which should be as per global standards. He said if farmers produce quality products, they would get good price which would improve their living conditions and when farmers of Nagaland have money, every market will run smoothly, besides the agricultural sector would have more contribution in increasing the country’s GDP.
He also lauded the efforts of the CIH in improving the horticulture sector in Nagaland.
He further lauded the Nagaland Government for doing enough in the agriculture sector and also bringing development in the state.
In his address, Advisor, Horticulture, Mathung Yanthan said at the time when everyone is facing climate change and agriculture being very vulnerable to climate change, one needs to understand the impact of climate change and accordingly evolve strategies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, especially on the varieties of crops one chooses and on the cropping system.
Appreciating the Union Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar and the Government of India for the continuous support towards the welfare of the farmers through various schemes of the Ministry, Yanthan said through this programme, the State is witnessing a steep rise in rural economy and improvement in the lives of farming community.
The success of this programmes and their impact on the farmer lives is evident by the fact that there is high degree of scope for farming activities especially horticulture crops such as pineapple, orange, cucumber, passion fruit, kiwi, cardamom, etc., he added
Informing that Nagaland has now 3 Geographical Indication (GI) registered crops ~ Naga tree tomato, Naga mircha and Naga cucumber ~ the Advisor requested the Ministry to promote these unique crops for marketing not only within the country but also outside the country in order to create avenues for the farmers and young entrepreneurs.
About the Central Institute of Horticulture, Yanthan said since its establishment the Centre had been implementing capacity building programmes offering model training and certificate course in horticulture and providing quality planting materials to farmers which are raised at the centre (CIH) nursery.
However, he said the State Government is disheartened to learn that the CIH is going to be merged with the National Horticulture Board (NHB).
“Once it is merged with NHB, the very objective of setting this institute will be diluted”, he said and requested the Ministry to review the decision to merge with NHB. The issue has also been taken by the State Government.
He also suggested that since CIH has the infrastructure and has gained micro level experience in research and development, it may be upgraded to special purpose for development of horticulture in the region.
Horticulture Commissioner, Government of India, Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Central Agriculture University, Dr. Anupam Mishra, Agriculture Minister, G Kaito Aye and a host of officials were present on the occasion.
(Page News Service)