Nagaland, Thailand to cooperate in organic farming

Nagaland, Thailand to cooperate in organic farming
Mhathung Yanthan along with department officials and Thai delegate, Tuesday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, DEC 2 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/2/2019 11:42:50 AM IST

In a major boost to organic farming in the State, the government of Nagaland and Thai delegates have decided to cooperate through farmer exchange programmes and increasing trade in organic produce. Though no memorandum was signed, the decision was reached at a consultative meeting between horticulture department officials and a Thai delegation at Hotel Japfu here on Monday evening on development and marketing initiatives in horticulture sector. 

Owners and proprietors of various leading brand comprising the 10-member Thai delegation led by former minister and consular commercial office, Thai Embassy, New Delhi, Tharadol Thongruang are currently in the State capital. The team is on a visit to Nagaland to explore trade between Nagaland and Thailand. 

An elaborative discussion was held after which it was decided that a team from Nagaland led by horticulture adviser Mhathung Yanthan and commissioner & secretary Kikheto Sema would visit Thailand in January/February 2020, after which a group of farmers would be sent for training.

Addressing the delegates, Yanthan informed that there were similarities between Nagaland and Thailand in many ways though the latter’s organic produce could not reach the former and which was quite discouraging for the local farmers.

He said if Naga farmers received assurances from Thailand regarding purchase of their produce so that the latter could boost their output since farmers in the State have been practising organic farming since times immemorial. 

Yanthan proposed a blend of traditional and technology farming to increase output in which herbs could be grown commercially, if demands were high.

SMEs Thai Go Inter Trade Association president Dr Vorrakorn Chamnanpaisarn said avocado, garlic and black pepper were in high demand in Thailand but costly. Hence, if Nagaland could export their local produce to Thailand, it would reap rich economic dividends.

He sought at least 100 metric ton of ginger within December-January to which Kikheto informed that it was off season now, but would definitely be done in future.

Yanthan assured Chamnanpaisarn that if market linkage could be found, ginger would be grown on a large scale in Nagaland, even as he called for close cooperation between Nagaland and Thailand in organic farming.

He suggested that the Thai government take up exchange programmes as there were many things to learn from Nagaland like the traditional farming in hilly areas.

Tharadol expressed keenness on setting up processing units on small scale, after which these would be expanded if results were found to be positive.

Sema said the two sides could suggest ideas through exchange programmes, adding that as Nagaland was an agrarian State, agro-based industry was the only option for the Nagas.

Green Earth Environment Sustainable Association president and assistant professor Dr Woraburi Moolsin, fruit farm owner Prawat Anantasak, department officials and others attended the consultative meet.

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