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Potential for NE farmers, growth for meat products high in NE; marketing summit ends

Farmers-Scientists Interaction on Liverstock, Fisheries and Entrepreneurship Devp. in progress on Saturday. (DIPR)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, DEC 18 (NPN):
Published on 19 Dec. 2010 12:35 AM IST
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Potential for growth of livestock, fisheries and entrepreneurship among farmers in the north east region was the thrust of the discussions held at the plenary sessions at the ongoing North East Agro-Expo here Saturday.
Farmers-Scientists interaction on Livestock, fisheries and entrepreneurship development interactive session was held Saturday with C. Mozhui Nagaland State Agriculture Marketing Board (NSAMB) member secretary as chairman and ICAR research complex, Arunachal Pradesh centre joint director Dr. R. Bhagwati as co-chairman at Northeast Agri Expo site, here. In his opening remark, NSAMB member secretary C. Mozhui described northeast states including Nagaland as having high potential for meat production as consumption of meat was very high among the people especially, the Nagas.
Mozhui opined that the north east states need to focus more on rearing and marketing meat products rather than being dependent upon import from states outside the region. Touching on unhygienic conditions of places where meat products were being sold, Mozhui felt that wayside stall selling meat should be discouraged and to set up hygienic slaughter houses equipped with modern facilities such as cold storages.
In this regard, he called upon the entrepreneurs to take the lead to cultivate and focus on productivity and self dependency by bringing changes in the present method.
On the credit system particularly in Nagaland, Mozhui pointed out that farmers faced difficulties in getting financial aid to start business due to “constitutional problems.”
He said banks and financial institutions do not come forward to help entrepreneurs and suggested that the government find ways and means to help young entrepreneurships in granting free interest loan schemes.
During the interactive session, one fish farmer raised the issues of non suitability of fish in terms of breeding, poor production and winter mortality, developmentof fishery pond and obtaining financial assistance. In response, Imti Longkumer, deputy director fishery said that different types of fish breed in different conditions depending on the area.He also explained that fishes could breed in any conditions, be it river or pond. He said while fresh water fishes can breed only in rivers and moving waters; some can breed in ponds but productivity depended upon the conditions of the locality where the fisheries are located.
He also pointed out that like any other living creatures, fish require regular food to survive and grow to its full potential. Regarding financial assistance for fish farmers, a resource person pointed out that there were several schemes under Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA), National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) available for the entrepreneurs.
In order to develop fisheries farmers can also avail schemes from their respective district officers of the department, he added. A dairy farmer from Dimapur said as 90% of farmers in Nagaland were poor and uneducated they were unable to understand new methods and techniques whenever such opportunity such as expo or seminar were organized as they could neither read nor write.
He suggested that the government build a demonstration venue in poultry, piggery, dairy, Mithun rearing, fishery etc so that those farmers who couldn’t read could learn through demonstrations.
Admitting that the government has failed in such critical areas, one resource person advised farmers not to be solely dependent upon the government but to pursue their interests with other sources. It was also suggested that the government identify successful entrepreneurs and provide financial assistance so as to promote the enterprises to be models for others.
Catherine Assistant professor. SASARD NU also told farmers not to be solely dependent upon the government but find ways and means as remedy for their problems. To a question from a farmer from Mokokchung on cow mortality manifest through falling of hair and diarrhea in the earlier stages, the resource person responded that there could be several causes but the area where the animals were confined needed to be inspected.
Farmers were also advised to avail insurance for animals as provided for by the government at low interest rates.
To a query from a farmer from Bishnupur, Manipur who pointed out to discrimination on pricing between rural and urban areas,a resource person while admitting that were could be some discriminations, explained pricing policy was fixed by the respective state government.
Co- chairman, Dr. R. Bhagwati, joint director ICAR research complex Arunachal Pradesh Centre in his concluding remark urged the entrepreneurs to have self determination and use one’s intellect, which formed the key to success.
He said no agency can guarantee success unless one was willing to put the best effort through hard work.
Panel of resource persons included: Dr. I.P Khala from animal husbandry, Dr. M.T Lotha from piggery and AH, Dr. Akho dairy development Director VET &AH, Dr. Imti Longkumer Dy.Director Fishery, Dr. T. Wati dy director Industries, Dr. B.R Singh PS, ICAR medzhipehema, Dr. N.Haque PS NRC Mithun management, Dr. SK Das PS Fishery ICAR barapani, Dr. M.K Shikandar NABARD, Dr. M.K Patar ICAR, Medzhiphema Dr. Catherine Asst Prof. SASARD NU and Dr. R.K Singh programme coordinator.
Dr. Dipak Chetri, Joint Director Agri gave the welcome address while the vote of thanks was pronounced by co-coordinator, D. K Chetri.
Nikhil for commercialization of products
Governor, Nikhil Kumar paid a second day visit to the NE Agri Expo 2010 on Saturday. He visited the Thematic Stalls of the agri and allied departments, and interacted with officials and participants. His queries regarding the visions and programmes, the support from government of India and agencies such as FCI, the Chamber of Commerce, ISI etc were answered by the various departments. According to DIPR, Nikhil was impressed with the efforts of the state government and with the high potential of the state in agricultural production. “The message is very clear, that we must commercialise our products,” he remarked.
The Governor was escorted by minister for agriculture, Dr. Chumben Murry and APC, H.K. Khulu, along with senior officials of the N.E. Agri Expo Organising Committee.
Plenary sessions
The plenary sessions of the fourth day of the ongoing NE Agri Expo was conducted on the topic ‘Fostering Agriculture Entrepreneurship in North East India’.
According to an official bulletin, DGM, Rural Business Unit, Head Office, SBI, Guwahati, Tilak Das in his presentation on ‘Financial Assistance to motivate agri entrepreneurs NER’, said that optimum level of support was a must for agri-enterprise. For this, he outlined various key factors for success of agri-enterprises including proper infrastructure, power, communication and connectivity. Stating that connectivity was an issue in the Northeast region including availability of land for cultivation due to hilly terrains, the DGM stressed on the need to shift focus from “volume” to “value” in order to attract buyers from outside the region.
On the other hand, the resource person called for investment friendly environment and appealed the banks to play central role towards agri-enterprise in extending financial assistance to motivate agri-entrepreneurs in North East Region.
Coordinator, Agriclinics & Agri Business Centre’s Cell, MANAGE, Hyderabad, Dr. P. Chandra Sekhara on his topic ‘Strengthening Institutional Mechanism in Agri Entrepreneurship’ shared success stories of agri-enterprise in the fields of hatchery, fishery, sericulture etc.
According to him, the successful agri-entrepreneurships have been carried out by agri graduates who have settled in rural areas. With the success in agri-enterprise, the mindset of educated agri graduates are changing and government job was no longer a priority for them, said Sekhara. The resource person further gave an introduction to agri-clinic and agri business scheme and emphasised on the roles of mass media, banks and state government in promoting agri-enterprise.
Executive director, National Bee Keeping Board, New Delhi, B.S. Saraswati in his presentation on ‘Entrepreneurship opportunities in Bee Keeping’ said that there was lot of potential in bee keeping, stating that anyone can become a bee-keeper.
Educating the participants on the common species of honey bees in India and benefits of apiculture, he said that Nagaland Honeybee Mission was delivering a good performance.
The first session was held on ‘Role of different agencies in promoting agri entrepreneurship’ with Ratno Dharani, team leader, NEI, Ratan Tata Trust, Kohima as the chairman and co-chaired by N. Doulo, Coordinator of Entrepreneur Associates, Kohima.
Plenary session II on agriculture entrepreneurship
Research in solving the problems faced by the farming community, market linkages institutional support, converting farm into enterprise were suggested during the Plenary Session II, held on the topic, “Success stories in agriculture entrepreneurship and innovative responses to challenges in agri entrepreneurship” on Saturday at the Agri Expo site, Dimapur.
Addressing the seminar, managing director, Zopar Exports Pvt. Ltd., Shillong, Rajesh Prasad, on the topic ‘An entrepreneurial venture in North East – The journey’ enlightened the entrepreneurs on how he started the Zopar Company.
The managing director of the now renowned Zopar Co. said that initially he set up a small flower shop in Aizwal, followed by Bangalore, after which he was able to set up his own industry with funds from the Commerce Ministry.
Today his company has around 400 workers drawn from Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram. He has a number of retail shops all over the country with 11 retail outlets in the NER including one in Dimapur and Kohima. Dealing in a whole gamut of flowers ranging from anthuriums, roses, lilliums, chrysanthemums, etc. till date the company has an annual turnover of 28 crores, Rajesh informed.
“Technology and marketing issues are the most important areas of concern, for floriculture to give good flowers and to compete in the international market,” he said.
Managing director, Megha Foods, Jorhat, Meghalee Borah, highlighting on the success story of women entrepreneurs in NER opined that the government should encourage the women entrepreneurs and SHGs by imparting them training on quality control.
According to Borah rural women should be motivated by showing video clipping on how to make pickles of Raja Chilli, juices of passion fruits and kiwi fruits, to enable them to venture into entrepreneurship.
Commissioner Rewa Division, Madhya Pradesh, Ravindor Pastor (IAS), while addressing the young entrepreneurs, stressed on the need for paradigm shift in business development citing scanning of market, development of PPP with the existing chain, training and production as the key areas to be taken into consideration.
Emphasizing on the need for bridging the local and urban markets, Ravindor said that activities based federation could be the most efficient platform.
Vice president, Shimla Hills and director, Zorally Solutions, New Delhi, Dr. Simon H. Holland, exhorted the entrepreneurs to posses the traits of passion and resilience to be a successful entrepreneur. “Sometimes you will experience failure in production, but you have to keep going and ask yourself, what went wrong”, he maintained.
Sharing his experience in the NER, Dr. Simon observed that most of the farmers wanted reliable market linkages.
Wrapping up the seminar, co-chairman, Sibi Monopally observed that it was essential to bring production, value added extension services and market under one umbrella.
He also suggested that all entrepreneurs ought to come together and solve the problems with institutional support.
Plenary session for NE marketing summit ends
Last plenary session for the North East Marketing submit 2010 was held Saturday on the theme “New Initiatives in Food Processing Sector” with Nagaland additional chief secretary Alemtemshi Jamir as chairman of the session at the Agri Expo site 4th mile, Dimapur.
The department of Botany NEHU, Meghalaya Professor Saroj K. Barik who spoke on the “Potentials and Challenges in Marketing – Recent experiences” said that the effectives of agriculture production for food processing sector was caused by poor infrastructures, logic support, remoteness and poor network.
Pointing out that the first step in successful marketing of a product or service was to get the attention of customers to notice the products he said most of the entrepreneurs has failed because of data and information gap to use the medicinal plants.
For this, he encouraged the participants to put more attention right from the beginning and control the quantities of food processing.
“Developing projects is developing the people”, said Barik and added that approach for food processing should be involved with the VDPs, Static plans, SHGs, Clusters and BDPs.
Senior vice president Corporate Planning Temptation Foods, Mumbai Shyam Mahale gave a remark on his success story of value addition in agriculture and said that food processing needed opportunities matrix that involves local produce, local demand, import produce and export demand.
In his presentation on “Plant and Machinery for Food Processing including cold chain management”, Project manager, Exotic Juices, Mao, Manipur, Sandeep Sharma said that rural areas faced many challenges for value addition compared to urban areas. He encouraged the participants to maintained and give concentration in their units to strengthen large scale production.
At the open floor discussion, some officials raised a question on how to keep fresh chilies to export to which some resource persons reply that temperature and humidity were important factor for every product. The resource persons said that storage to keep the food fresh for three months has been set up in Andhra Pradesh.
Co-Chairman of the session, Vice President, Shimla Hills & Director, Zorally Solutions New Delhi, Dr. Simon H. Holland while summing up the importance of the new initiatives in food processing sectors said “plan the unit in micro and strengthen and enlarge.”
Promoting food processing in NER
Plenary session on creating impetus to promote food processing in North East region was held at Agri Expo conference hall December 18.
Resource persons at the session underscored that marketable surplus of fruits and vegetables from the growers of north eastern states needed necessary arrangements for its product marketing, reported an official bulletin.
The resource persons included DGM Foodpark, Guwahati, Assam, Afreen Rahman; Head R&D, Dabur Foods, New Delhi, T.V.B. Reddy and addl. manager, Alfalavel, Kolkatta, M. Abbas.
They said that three tier infrastructures of primary processing centre and central processing centre, which would connect with Mizoram, Nagaland and other North Eastern region, was set up and would be the collection centre for the region.
According to resource persons the farmers, under the aegis of central sector schemes, should support for better supplies to their products.
NERAMAC has commissioned a fruit juice concentration plant in 1998 to market low volume high valued product in the region, this provide for rural area better price to the poor farmers and uplifts their things standard, they said.
The resource persons also imparted on the capacity building in different capacity programme, which could bring entrepreneurship in food preservation in marketing in the eight sister states of the NER.
Nagaland commissioner & secretary, industries & commerce Imkonglemba was the chairman of the session and MD, NERAMAC, Guwahati, Assam S. Bhattacharjee was co-chairman.

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