Newly appointed horticulture commissioner to the government of India, Dr. Gorakh Singh visited central institute of horticulture (CIH) Medziphema, Monday along with state horticulture director, mission director (HTM-NE) Dr. N. Benjong Aier and various other officials of the department.
The horticulture commissioner on his visit to CIH stated the main purpose was to assess and upgrade the institute to a top level institute and developing it as an institute of national importance.
During a discussion with CIH director, Dr. Akali Sema and the mission director, Singh stressed on inducting new technology so that the productivity and quality of various fruits and vegetables would improve, and advised that high value crops like capsicum, tomato should be initiated, doing away with plantation of single variety of crop.
On being asked about the prospects of horticulture in Nagaland, he said the state has enormous potential and that cash crop like cashew nuts and various other exotic fruits could be taken up for plantation.
Though saplings and various other inputs are being provided by the horticulture department, it is however interesting to note that the main work of marketing and processing comes under the agriculture and industries department respectively. Citing this, Akali Sema admitted that due to the lack of coordination among the three departments, marketing of the products could not be carried out successfully and it was the farmers who face problems.
The commissioner along with the officials also visited a pineapple plantation at Mawlon where the farmers interacted with the officials at the same time highlighted their grievances. The farmers further brought to their notice that the total earnings annually from one acre of plantation were around Rs. 30, 000 after deducting all the input costs.
Mawlon situated around three kilometers from Jharnapani has a pineapple plantation area of nearly 2000 acres.