Arunachal: Horticulture sector can change the state’s economy- Pema Khandu

He specifically called upon students of the college to spend their vacations productively by educating their parents, elders and farmers of their respective villages on best farming practices and produces.


Pasighat

Chief Minister Pema Khandu called upon the students and faculty of the College of Horticulture and Forestry, Pasighat, to become catalysts for development of the horticulture sector in Arunachal Pradesh, which has tremendous potential to change the state’s economy.

Addressing the students and faculty at the College auditorium here today, Khandu said that despite having huge potential the agri-horti sector has not been exploited in the state except in few pockets. He urged the only horticulture college of the state to evolve methods to augment the horticulture sector and benefit the farmers by spreading its technical expertise beyond the walls of the college campus.

“You have the technical know-how and you know the untapped potential of the state. Please take some time out from your academic pursuit to benefit our farmers through your expertise,” he urged while informing that only about 3% of the 25 lakh hectares of arable land are under use at present.

He specifically called upon students of the college to spend their vacations productively by educating their parents, elders and farmers of their respective villages on best farming practices and produces.

Khandu said the college (under the Central Agricultural University of Imphal) is located at the best possible place, Pasighat. He reasoned that Pasighat and its adjoining areas leads in the state when it comes to agriculture while oranges of Dambuk are today exported out of the country. Therefore, the college has the advantage to research, experiment and evolve new technologies to develop the sector further, he said.

“We in the state government have given top priority to agri-horti sector, which is evident from our budget 2019-20. We have prepared a roadmap to benefit at least 90000 farmers in the next two years,” he informed.

He also informed that the state government has started the Chief Minister’s Sashakt Kisan Yojna to benefit agri-horti farmers, which is in line with the Prime Minister’s campaign to double the income of farmers in the next couple of years.

Pointing that fishery is another sector, which has been overlooked in the past, he informed this year provision has been kept to launch the Mukhya Mantri Neel Kranti Abhiyan. This scheme he informed is aimed to increase local fish production that will curb the import of fish from other states and benefit local fish farmers.

He reiterated his stress on increasing market intelligence of farmers and said the college can help in this regard.

“As our farmers lack market intelligence, they are not benefiting economically from their produces. We need to equip them with the knowledge of organic and economically viable produces,” he said.

To encourage and give a platform for local farmers, Khandu informed a Mega Food Park will be established near the state capital. The Mega Food Park, he said, would provide whole-sale markets and auction centers in order to facilitate farmers to exhibit and sell their produces.

“With the support of the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries, we are also opening up Mini Food Parks across the state that will also have facilities for cold storage and market links,” he informed.

Arunachal: Horticulture sector can change the state’s economy- Pema Khandu

Union MoS for Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijiju called for change of mindset of today’s generation towards farming. He said today’s youths consider farming as a petty job meant only for the poor and rural folks.

“In developed countries, farming is a big business. Farmers run and make governments. But here we consider it a lowly job. This mindset should change,” he asserted.

He asserted that with the abundant land resource that the state possesses, ‘unemployment’ or ‘joblessness’ should not be in its dictionary. He urged youths to consider farming as a profession and take it up successfully to sustain and grow economically.

Rijiju too suggested the college to reach out to the farming community and start by opening up study centers all over the state.

Khandu and Rijiju along with Assembly Speaker P D Sona, Health Minister Alo Libang, Sports Minister Mama Natung, legislators Phurpa Tsering, Ninong Ering, Lombo Tayeng and Kaling Moyong and others were in the college campus to inaugurate a Indoor Sports Auditorium and a PG Girls Hostel.

Earlier in the day, Khandu also inaugurated a CT Scan Unit at the Bakin Pertin General Hospital & Training Center and a Souvenir Shop at the Pasighat Airport.

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