Daily organic market in Dimapur

Daily organic market in Dimapur
Organic vegetables on sale at the newly launched market. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, SEP 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/4/2018 12:03:00 PM IST

Despite the much acclaimed potential for organic fruits and vegetables, Nagaland still continues to consume huge quantities of imported vegetables and fruits that are treated with pesticides and chemical to promote fast growth, while the state’s own produce of organic produce is still unable to reach even a small fraction of the population.

The Modi government has ambitiously declared the entire north east region as the ‘Hub of organic farming’ and followed it up with various schemes to promote various items including indigenous herbs.

Sikkim is the only state in India to have been officially declared as cent per cent ‘organic state’ in 2016. In Sikkim imports of non-organic vegetables and fruits is strictly prohibited and no one is allowed to either buy or sell them.

A daily market for display and sale of organic items including various local products was inaugurated in Dimapur Tuesday under the aegis of Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) with the motto ‘ Work And Eat’ at Supermarket(Naga Shopping Arcade).

 Speaking at the inaugural of the daily organic market, principal secretary Horticulture M.K. Mero outlined measures undertaken by the state government for the benefit of farmers across the state. While the retail market at Supermarket (Naga Shopping Arcade) will give local farmers a space to sell their produce, Mero stressed on the need for a wholesale market that was of paramount importance for farmers in the State to scale up their businesses and sell their produce outside the State and even in international market. He added that a wholesale centre could serve as a focal point where washing, packaging and grading and bulk exports in trucks could be carried out.

Mero pointed out that the only airport (Dimapur) in the state has no cargo or cold storage facility and for which the horticulture department will submit a proposal in this regard to the airport authority. He also stressed on evolving from beyond just selling locally to collaborating between different farmers groups across the State and exporting items that were in high demand outside. Keeping in view of a need to develop export, Mero said the government has trained 30 entrepreneurs.

The principal secretary urged farmers to maintain their sheds so that customers were drawn to them. He also assured that the horticulture department would construct cold storage rooms near the sheds for farmers to store and preserve their unsold produce during the night.

He also called upon the farmers to take advantage of the low-interest loans provided by the government to give an impetus to farmers, adding that National Horticulture Board in Guwahati was providing 50% subsidy to farmers and entrepreneurs to assist them with the much-needed capital. Horticulture director Dr R Elithung Lotha, who too spoke on the occasion, said the inauguration of the market created an enabling situation for farmers to sell their produce. 

He stressed as the produce were grown locally in gardens, they were free of insecticides and pesticides. He emphasised FPOs to link and register themselves with competent authorities to reap various benefits and informed the gathering about an earlier meeting with Small Farmer Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) to improve availability of working capital and development of business activities.

In his address, chairman of action committee, Naga Council Dimapur, Vekhosayi Nyekha appealed to various underground factions not to impose tax on local entrepreneurs and hoped that they would abide by their earlier decision not to impose it, adding that the local daily market had been declared a “tax free zone.”

Speaking on the occasion, Development Authority of Nagaland chairman Nyamnyei Konyak called upon the organising committee of FPO to visit other places in the State like Mon that produced high quality cardamom, Mokokchung for its cucumber and Wokha for its passion fruit and help farmers exploit their potential. He urged the horticulture department and farmers to work side by side while advising farmers to desist from using chemicals. He also asked the horticulture department to provide cold storage facility.

In his address, FPO chairman Chozukhwu Nyekha thanked Development Authority of Nagaland for providing them with space for setting up the market that would serve farmer interest groups. He also appealed to people to cut down on meat intake and increase consumption of organic fruits and vegetables in their diet.

The programme drew to a close with prize distribution ceremony for the best stall on the inauguration day. Bharatiya Farmers Agro Business Development Co-operative Limited treasurer and BOD Akola Pongen Lucy announced the names of winners – KL Vadeo, Shurhozelie and Morton Jigdung who were adjudged first, second and third respectively. The prizes were handed over by the principal secretary.

Other highlights of the programme included invocation by CBC Seluophe pastor Meshilo, welcome address by FPO secretary Neivizonuo Nyekha and vote of thanks by FPO member Vikuosa. 

The programme was chaired by FPO member Nzamo Humtsoe. During the inauguration programme, organic fruits and vegetables, handlooms and handicrafts and local and ornamental fish were put on display for sale. 


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