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NER Agri expo-II concludes

(R-L) Neiphiu Rio, Agatha Sangma and Dr. Chumben Murry presenting the cheque of Rs 1 crore to promote and assist young entrepreneurs on Sunday. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, DEC 19 (NPN):
Published on 20 Dec. 2010 1:05 AM IST
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Agatha for organic farming, food processing
Union minister of state for rural development Agatha Sangma on Sunday underlined the importance of organic farming, food processing and better connectivity with agriculture specifically in the North Eastern region.
Speaking as chief guest at the valedictory function at the close of the second edition of the North East Agri Expo 2010 here, Agatha said though holding the portfolio of rural department, she felt that agriculture in the north east was a key issue which she was keenly interested and concerned about.
Agatha further said agriculture played an important role in the north east where about 80 % of the people depend on agriculture for economy. She said the people, their culture and tradition were so intertwined with agriculture that “we cannot afford to ignore or neglect it”.
Agatha commented that after the first NE expo in the year 2006, “we have seen especifically in Nagaland, a huge increase… intense increase in agri productivity”.
She expressed happiness that the Expo was organised not only for the state of Nagaland but for the entire northeast where traditions, culture economies were similar and where agriculture played an important role.
Agatha said the Expo witnessed diverse range of participants and visitors from all states of the region which also indicated that entrepreneurship in the field of agriculture had drastically diversified and increased.
Responding to the report and recommendations of the NE marketing summit presented by CIH director Dr. Akali, Agatha said seminars for farmers were important issues to ponder upon adding, that collection of information and passing it on to the farmers was very much needed.
“What we need today is to ensure that farmers are equipped with the knowledge and that farmers are given more awareness programme and technical session where they are showed different means of agriculture processes, how to enhance their productivity, how to conserve and preserve traditional methods of agriculture how to understand the value of organic farming”, she said.
Stating that disseminating knowledge to farmers were the first and foremost key area, she expressed delight that that farmers in the seminar were also involved and suggestive knowledge and information were disseminated to the farmers, adding that it was a crucial point in the entire seminar.
While emphasizing on the important role of food processing, she said since the northeast which was positioned in a difficult location, there was a great need to improve on food processing capacity. “The government of India and various state governments have taken several initiatives on this issue but we need to strengthen it and we need to improve on it”, she said. Expressing concern that people live in contaminated environment, she said while food security for a growing population was important, it was also important to ensure that food was healthy. Agatha however expressed doubts if food was healthy considering the environment under which they were grown.
Agatha said the chief minister of Sikkim declared that by 2015 Sikkim would become organic state and termed it as futuristic and positive initiative. She states from the north east, as stakeholders could also emulate Sikkim.
“I believe that Nagaland is also doing a wonderful work in organic area and even in the expo I came across few people who are working specifically in this organic sector”
She also suggested that farmers and dignitaries from other states including Nagaland to invest in organic farming as it was not only lucrative but “the only option and healthiest option for our population and for the generations to come”.
Another aspect she noted was in the area of communication and connectivity. Agatha said that often people overlook the component of how important good roads play when it comes to agriculture or horticulture. She pointed out that connectivity and agriculture were areas where better convergence has to take place.
“If we can improve our connectivity we would obviously be improving the connectivity of our market for our rural farmers. So this is one area which has to be thought of,”she said.
Agatha described the Expo structure and venue as “very impressive” and felt that it was one of its kind in the north east specifically created for agriculture industry.
She congratulated state chief minister Neiphiu Rio and minister for agriculture Dr. Chumben Murry for making the NER Expo a success.
Former state chief minister and former governor of Maharashtra Dr. S.C Jamir, and members of event partner Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and other dignitaries attended the function.
Agriculture Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary H.K Khulu IAS delivered vote of thanks and also informed that number of participants were 300 farmers from other states, 1100 farmers from Nagaland, 368 exhibiters, 5200 attended seminars and more than 1,11, 000 visitors to the expo.

Expo aimed at creating greater outlook: Rio

Staff Reporter

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said the North East Agri Expo 2010 with the theme- “Prosperity through Agriculture” was to showcase the potential of Agri and Allied sectors in the NE States so as to develop strategies, achieve self-sufficiency, manage marketable surplus and to introduce new technologies and practices to improve agriculture. Speaking at the valedictory function Sunday, he said that the expo was aimed at creating a greater outlook to showcase eight sister states of the region as one unit of attraction to investors.
While claiming ‘resounding success’ of the second edition of the NER Agri Expo, Rio said it was the state government’s endeavor to make the expo a biennial event with the support from ministries of Agriculture, DoNER and Rural Development.
“It has created windows of opportunities for exchange of knowledge and experience sharing amongst the NE states, paving way for technology transfer and strengthening bilateral cooperation” Rio said.
He also emphasized that development and upliftment of the northeast must be undertaken by the Centre on a war footing to remove the disparities between the region and the mainland. Challenging the farmers of the region to take advantage of the opportunities that are being provided, Rio said with such prospects, farmers must rise to the occasion to showcase their products- not just quality but value addition, to be at par or better than rest of the world.
Further, Rio congratulated all the government and non-government agencies, individuals and groups for their contribution in making the expo a grand success.
The function was chaired by minister for Agriculture, Dr. Chumben Murry while vote of thanks was delivered by APC & principal secretary, H.K. Khulu.
Meanwhile, to promote and assist young entrepreneurs, Rio released an amount of Rs. 1crore as a corpus fund to Entrepreneurs Associates in the Public Private Partnership initiative.
Agri Expo awards presentation
Entrepreneurs were also felicitated with certificate of recognition for Lifetime Achievement to select pioneering entrepreneurs of Dimapur district and also for outstanding entrepreneurship.
Lifetime Achievement award:
1. Yashitsungba Aier - Nagaland Steel Engineering Works & Co.
2. Mangilal Jain - Nandlal Mangilal Godrej & Co.
Outstanding entrepreneurship awards:
1. Kashito Yepthomi - Sony World
2. Basu Damani - Medicos
3. Moamenla - Mother’s Hope
4. Aninuo Ezung - Aroma Eatery

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