New Delhi: Union agriculture secretary Manoj Ahuja chaired a high level meeting at the Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Medziphema, Nagaland on Saturday and reviewed the ministry’s major programmes and schemes for the North Eastern Region (NER). Senior officials of all eight North-Eastern states participated in the deliberations.

During the meeting, Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Addl. Secretary, DA&FW, informed about the Schemes and Programmes being implemented in the NER, focussing on the National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm, National Mission of Edible Oilseeds, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern region, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY), Formation and Promotion of Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), National Bamboo Mission and National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM).The different states of the NER presented status and issues related to implementation of Central Government schemes.

In this meeting, major issues of non-availability of planting materials for oil palm and issues related to release of funds were discussed. The concerned Joint Secretary of Ministry held detailed discussion with various HODs of State Governments and also resolved the problems faced by them.

After reviewing the schemes and details presentations by North Eastern States secretary, DA&FW assured the States of the Department’s support to resolve their issues, including the following steps:

  1. Setting up of MRL labs, soil testing & seed testing labs in each state.
  2. Timely conduct of State Level Steering Committee (SLSC) for approval of proposal and Projects.
  3. Timely submission of all the UCs and Progress report.
  4.  To coordinate with research institute such as ICAR, SAUs, KVKs for latest production technology and dissemination through extension system.
  5. Value chain development for agricultural produces.
  6. Take up and completion of infrastructure project under RKVY timely.

A team lead by Ahuja Sunday undertook a field visit to interact with pineapple growers from Molvom village having largest area under pineapple plantation. The members of Molvom pineapple farmers producer company interacted with senior officers of the Ministry and shown interest to create processing facility at village so that the surplus produce may be processed at village level and make it available to the consumers at distant places. The team appreciated the efforts made by FPO under MOVCD-NER which is a major initiative of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

Secretary DA&FW and additional secretary visited Bamboo Resources Centre at Dimapur to see the facilities developed at the Centre for promotion of Bamboo based products like Bamboo charcoal, Furniture, Aggarbati making and Bamboo Museum.

The officers interacted with the state’s officials and suggested various steps to promote bamboo-based activities in the states under the National Bamboo Mission which can change the livelihood of small and marginal farmers having bamboo-based agroforestry system.

The team also visited the processing and testing facilities of Honey developed under Nagaland Beekeeping and Honey Mission. The facility is one of the core activities in beekeeping sector in Nagaland for processing of different kind of honey link collected from rock bees, stingless bees and other local bees.

Secretary and additional secretary also suggested various measures for upliftment of beekeeping sector in Nagaland with help of National Beekeeping & Honey Mission.

After that the state officials displayed the state-of-the-art facility developed at Dimapur for marketing of Organically grown produce at Organic AC market having facility for grading, packaging, drying and cold storage facilities for perishable products. The produce from Nagaland coming from various district are being sold through organic AC market to local consumers.

The Central team appreciated the efforts of Nagaland Govt. for promotion and upliftment of Agriculture and Horticulture sector in the state.

Dr. Naveen K. Patle, Addl. Commissioner Horticulture, DA&FW welcomed all the dignitaries from Central and North Eastern states and vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner, DA&FW.