The inaugural programme of the 15th National Symposium on spices and first ever in NE on the topic ‘Harnessing the potential of NE states for spices production through technical interventions’, was held at Police Complex, Chumukedima on Friday with state Agriculture Minister Dr. Chumben Murry as the chief guest and Vice-Chancellor, Nagaland University, Prof K Kannan as guest of honour. The two days symposium has been organized by Central Institute of Horticulture, Indian Society of Spices, (Calicut & Kerala) Directorate of Arecanut, Calicut & Kerela) and supported by ICAR, NE India, NABARD, Horticulture Society of NE India, NU and SASRD, NU.
Addressing the delegates from various states, chief guest in his speech expressed eagerness to know about quantum of spices imported and its value at the same time also stated the state had marketing potential to supply raw materials. Articulating his views on the faulty data’s, chief guest stressed on importance of reliable data’s and called for proper collection data’s. Dr Chumben also stated that the quality of spices such as ginger and turmeric was far better than other states. At the same time he also called for maintaining the original quality of the spices along with the use of technical intervention. Terming the agri production of the state as organic by default, he stressed on its importance and it value outside the country. Later he called upon researchers and scientist to work upon to increase the supply of spices. The chief guest also later released the souvenir of symposium and also presented J S Pruthi award to President of, ISS, Calicut, Dr M Anandaraj.
Delivering the keynote address, Chief Consultant, CIH and former DDG, ICAR, Dr S P Gosh informed that the export earnings from spices have registered an all time high both in terms of quantity and value. He also stated that NE states offered immense potential for large scale production of spices and asserted that the region could produce clean spices at competitive prices thereby help the country maintain its hegemony in the international market. He also pointed out that technology backed agricultural development remain largely remain unutilized. On the issue of funds, he informed that the Spices Board had prepared Rs. 350 crores programme for NE states, up from the Rs 137 crores during the tenth plan.
Guest of honour, Prof K Kannan, who also spoke on the occasion, stressed on the importance of spices and stated that its value was high but was produced on a smaller scale. Giving a straight forward talk, the Vice-Chancellor asserted on spending the funds on developing human resources rather than conducting seminars while at the same time he also criticized the foreign tours taken out by various groups. “Lets make the children educated and not lost….Nagaland has suffered a lot by not stressing on experiments from a young age among the students” he said.
Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner, Alemtemshi in his presidential address asserted that the state has a tremendous potential for producing spices and turn into economic profit. Harping on the same lines, the ACS also expressed concern over the faulty data provided. He informed that the government was trying to get information through the GIS so that various policies can be implemented properly. Giving out a detailed policy of the government, he informed that the state government has come out with a blue print for commercial scale production of crops by 2015 and an agricultural based industry by 2020.
Earlier welcome speech was delivered by Director, CIH, Dr. Akali Seman while president, ISS, Calicut, Dr M Anandaraj gave a brief remark on the programme. Commissioner & Secretary, Horticulture, Sentiyanger IAS and Director, DASD, Calicut, Dr Tamil Selvan gave felicitations of the programme. The vote of thanks was said by Secretary, ISS, Dr V Srinivasan.