Image: Northeast Now

The Orchid Society of Assam (OSA) in association of ‘Environment Cell’ of Silapathar Science College conducted day-long workshop on ‘Wild orchid conservation & propagation’ at Silapathar Science College in Assam’s Dhemaji on Sunday.

Science students and faculties from different colleges run under Dibrugarah University besides orchid enthusiasts, farmers and conservators from different districts were participated the day-long workshop.

Scientists from the Jorhat based Rain Forest Research Institute (RFRI) – Satyam Bordoloi (Scientist-B) and senior technical officers- Dr Bebija L Singha and Prasanta Saikia taught tissue culture to propagate the orchids.

They also gave preferences to conservation of the rare and endangered species like Blue Vanda (Vanda coerulea) and Rhy Var Alba, known as highly endangered species.

Besides the trio, well-known orchid expert Khyanjeet Gogoi from Tinsukia, who himself has identified 35 orchid species from Assam and discovered four new species also presented practical demonstration on propagation of orchids using tissue culture methods.

Among others, OSA general secretary Mithu Gogoi; Professor of Botany Dr Annajyoti Gogoi, retired principal Labanya Chutiya discussed on ‘economic importance of orchids’ on the occasion.

The society earlier conducted such workshop at Doomdooma in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia in July last year.

The OSA with its head office at Silapathar formed last year has been working to spread awareness on economic value of orchids and keep the State’s pride intact.

It comprises a group of botanists, environmentalists, orchid enthusiasts and science students from different districts of Assam, who have embarked on a mission to conserve the indigenous orchid species from extinction after its proper survey and documentation.

Notably, a team of OSA led by Khyonjeet Gogoi conducted primary survey on various orchid species available in the natural forest and foothills along Assam-Arunachal boundary thereby reported presence of some endangered species with a rare ground orchid.

The conservation activities are spearheaded by Silapthar Science College principal Dr Ranjeet Saikia and Professor (Dr) Jitu Gogoi, who have signed an MOU with RFRI, Jorhat.

They also made communication with the RFRI scientists, Dehradun for their technical feedback in this regard.

Prafulla Kaman

Prafulla Kaman is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dhemaji. He can be reached at: pkradio16@gmail.com