Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said his government is preparing a roadmap so that at least 90,000 farmers can be benefitted in the next two years.

He said this while addressing the students and faculty members of College of Horticulture and Forestry, Pasighat.

Khandu also called upon the students and faculty members of the college to become catalysts for development of the State’s horticulture sector.

He said Arunachal Pradesh’s horticulture sector immense potential to change the State’s economy.

Khandu said despite having huge potential the agri-horti sector has not been exploited in the State except in few pockets.

He urged the State’s only horticulture college 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 the students and the faculty members.

He said currently, only about 3 per cent of the 25 lakh hectares of arable land are under use.

The CM specifically called upon the 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 also informed that the State government has started the Chief Minister’s Sashakt Kisan Yojna to benefit agri-horti farmers.

This yojna is in line with the Prime Minister’s campaign to double the income of farmers in the next couple of years, he said.

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.

To encourage and give a platform to the local farmers, Khandu informed a Mega Food Park will be established near the State capital.

Union MoS for Youth Affairs and 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.

Khandu and Rijiju along with Assembly Speaker PD Sona, Health Minister Alo Libang, Sports Minister Mama Natung, legislators Phurpa Tsering, Ninong Ering, Lombo Tayeng and Kaling Moyong were in the college campus to inaugurate an 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.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com

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