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Time for NER to be self-sufficient in agri, animal produce: Zeliang
Published on 7 May. 2011 12:41 AM IST
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Emphasizing that a time has come for North Eastern region (NER) to be self-sufficient in agriculture and animals produce, minister for planning & coordination, veterinary and animal husbandry, evaluation and parliamentary affairs, T.R. Zeliang, underscored two major factors responsible for stagnated growth of animal populations in the region, particularly Nagaland.
He said first it was the unaccounted deaths of animal population due un-controlled epidemics, which claim large number of cattle, pigs and fowls every year, and the second factor was the high cost of feeds in the region which discourage farmers from undertaking animals rearing on large as they could not afford the price of feeds. Addressing the 20th meeting of ICAR regional committee-III at Barapani, Shillong, on Thursday, T.R. Zeliang, said setting up of good animal health care centre or clinic in the region has become a necessity if the region really wanted animal population and its products to go up. Besides, imparting proper awareness on animals’ health care to the local farmers through veterinarians or govt. research agency like ICAR.
T.R. Zeliang also said high cost of feeds in North Region was the primary concern which was responsible for retarded growth of potential sector like piggery, dairy and poultry, including fishery.
He underlined the need to develop lost cost and nutritious feeds affordable by local farmers by using locally and abundantly available crops like cassava tuber, soya bean, groundnut etc which were rich source of protein. He also said that agriculture is the mainstay of the people of the NE, however, productivity in agricultural sector, especially Nagaland state, have failed to maintain equilibrium of demand and supply as was proven by huge quantum of import of daily essentials commodities like rice, potatoes, pulses etc.
He urged upon the central government to expedite establishment of 3 KVKs in Nagaland districts of Kiphire, Longleng and Peren, and conduct intensive research on merits and demerits of Jhum cultivation and suggest alternative cultivations, research support for crops like small millets, French bean (Kholars) varieties in Tuensang district, development of improved varieties of Colocasia in Mon district and water harvesting structure and recycling in the state. He also emphasized on the need to develop large scale fishery projects in potential compact area.
He reminded that Nagaland government had selected Jalukie as the site and has acquired 277 acres of land with various development works for establishment of Veterinary College being undertaken, which would be handed over to the CAU as and when it was approved. He also took up the matter with union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar for amendment of central agriculture university Act and place Nagaland under central agriculture university, Imphal which was the main criteria for establishment of Veterinary College.
Meghalaya Governor, R.S. Mooshary graced the meeting as chief guest while Ministers from North Eastern states, scientists and scholars participated in the day long meeting.

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