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Arunachal: Pema Khandu inaugurates Ex Setu Orchid Conservatory in Kimin

KIMIN- Chief Minister Pema Khandu today inaugurated the state of the art Ex Setu Orchid Conservatory here at the Centre of Excellence for Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Kimin.

The Centre of Excellence has been established under the aegis of Arunachal Pradesh State Council for Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology with financial support from Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India. It is the first-of-its-kind “Centre of Excellence” in the North-east.

Khandu congratulated the scientists engaged in the Centre and appreciated them for their efforts to turn the almost barren complex into a vibrant and green centre.

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“I am happy that this Centre, now with the new Orchidarium, is working towards conservation and propagation of highly valued orchid species and developing orchid based entrepreneurship,” he said.

He lauded the Centre’s efforts in constantly working for conservation and multiplication of priority orchid species along with its satellite units in villages with a view to promote orchid based entrepreneurship in rural areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Centre is doing Orchid Germplasm Conservation, Vegetative propagation of orchids and micro propagation of orchids to enhance its value addition.

“With such world-class facility at our disposal, our focus should be now on the potential of a revenue-generating model of Orchids for the national and international audience. We should emphasize more on scientific based research activities to take our state in the path of self-sustainability,” Khandu suggested.

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While encouraging the scientists to evolve a business model for its resources so that individual farmers benefit from it, he assured that the state government will soon take over the Centre of Excellence for its sustenance as it was set up with the support of central government on project mode for three years, which is likely to come to an end shortly.

The 600 sqm Orchid conservatory consists of about 600 varieties of economically important orchids. Primary aspect of an orchidarium is to conserve as well as propagate economically important varieties of orchids and thus providing economical avenues to the local populace of the state for developing orchid based entrepreneurial ventures.

The Centre has also established orchid production units each measuring 80 sqm in Kimin, Ziro, Deed, Pasighat and Namsai, each with 350 commercial orchids and planting materials and equipment. It has also collaborated with ICAR-NRCO, Pakyong, Sikkim for technical guidance, consultancy and support for undertaking orchid-based research. Two technical trainings have already been conducted for farmers and technical staff at Pakyong, Sikkim on various aspects of orchid cultivation.

The Centre has also established aroma distillation and processing units in the campus to promote cultivation of aroma crops and banana fibre extraction and processing units in selected districts of Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with leading institutions from South India. It is also working on bio-prospecting and translational product development research on medicinal, aromatic, foam forming plant resources in Arunachal Pradesh.

On December 22, 2016 former union minister Dr Harsh Vardhan laid the foundation stone of the Centre. Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated the makeshift building of the Centre on December 22, 2018. The permanent and multi-storied building of the Centre was eventually inaugurated by Union Minister of State (IC) for Science and Technology Dr Jitendra Singh on November 9, 2021.

Khandu was accompanied by Science and Technology Minister Honchum Ngandam, Home Minister Bamang Felix, Rajya Sabha MP Nabam Rebia, local MLA Tana Hali Tara, State Council for Science and Technology Chairman Bamang Mangha, Chief Secretary Dharmendra and others.

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