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Rio asks farmers to avail facilities for productivity
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUN 25 (NPN):
Published on 26 Jun. 2010 12:45 AM IST
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Reiterating his call for increasing the overall food production in the state, chief minister Neiphiu Rio asked the farmers to respond as the government was only a facilitator.
“We are just facilitators, the farmers should respond” he said while inaugurating the Nagaland State Agricultural Marketing Board (NSAMB) Office cum market complex and Agronag centre at NE Agri Expo site Dimapur on Friday.
Rio said the government was ready to extend financial help in the form of loan to farmers in the villages for which the VDBs could act as guarantors. He said excess produce could also be routed to the APMC through the VMC so that a farmer does not incur additional expenditure while transporting the products.
The chief minister, however, disapproved the functioning of some APMC and VMCs and called for streamlining the entire system. He pointed out that though 80% of the people were engaged in farming, they could produce only 40% of the food requirement. He called upon the farmers to shift from traditional farming to modern mechanised farming to achieve self-sufficiency and fulfil the State Vision 2020 for food security.
Rio also urged the farmers to concentrate and focus in one particular area of their specialization as too many works with no concentration to one particular specialization would hamper the goal of mass production for self-sufficiency.
He flayed the impatient and inconsistent attitude of the people, which he said was further compounding the problem of food production in the state.
The chief minister said the ‘vision 2020’ should happen and not remain just a vision. Rio observed that the state has a lot of potential for increasing the overall food production and called upon the people not to practice planting trees in fertile land but to plant only in those areas which were not cultivable for agricultural crops.
Congratulating the Agri Department for establishing the Centre, the chief minister called upon the local entrepreneurs and farmers to come forward and be a partner and avail the opportunities provided by the state government in venturing into technical know how trainings and workshops to become self reliant.
He said the project was very small when compared to other states, but asserted it was a ‘very big step’ for the state faced with the problem of ‘diminishing returns.’
He said the Indian economy was not affected severely by the global recession as it was mainly based on agriculture.
Giving details of the construction of the NSAMB office cum marketing complex, member secretary NSAMB, C. Mozhui informed that the project was started way back in 2005 but could not be competed in time due to unavailability of specific budget.
The funding of the project of Rs 146 lakhs was done under centrally sponsored schemes Technology Mini Mission-III (Rs 43 lakhs) and Market Infrastructural development Grading and Standardization (Rs 13 lakhs) and state plan grant in aid of Rs 90 lakhs. The complex is equipped with a quality testing lab, auction yards, godowns etc.
Explaining about Agronag centre, a concept of the Agri minister, member secretary NSAMB said that the objective of the centre was to provide professional training to the educated unemployed youth on post harvest management like value addition, processing, grading, packaging, labeling and market management of agro products.
Built with a sanction of Rs 80 lakhs from the state government, the centre has machineries, equipments and transportation worth Rs 54 lakhs. Some of the machineries include animal feeds processing units, spices curing machine, soya products processors, pineapple and citrus juice extraction units, potato chips and pop corn processing units.
Agriculture production commissioner & principal secretary of agriculture H. K. Khulu in his speech called upon the farmers and entrepreneurs to change their mindset from a subsidy mentality to self reliance as agriculture was the backbone for the economy of Nagaland.
He said some of the some bitter experiences of farmers in marketing problems would be addressed with inauguration of the NSAMB complex and Agronag.
Parliamentary secretary for horticulture R. Khing who also spoke on the occasion highlighted the various activities of the department under the Horticulture Technology Mission (HTM). He said production of the state was not enough for big markets and called for exploring the market avenues and bringing about sufficient infrastructure.
Minister for agriculture & NSAMB chairman, Dr Chumben Murry, who chaired the programme, in his welcome speech expressed concern on food production in the state. “We have 68 percent of the people involved in agri and allied sector yet we are not food sufficient…there is much to be done” he said.
He lauded the efforts of the Tuensang APMC for opening up the right market for the ‘kolar’ farmers. (with DIPR inputs)

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