Kohima: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said that there are six agro-climatic zones with vast geographical variations in Nagaland.
He said that the Northeast region has vast scope for growing a variety of horticultural crops.
After visiting the Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH) Campus at Medziphema, Tomar lauded the efforts of CIH, the state government and the Central Agricultural University in Imphal for working towards providing new technologies and digitizing agriculture thereby boosting production and productivity in the agricultural sector.
Tomar observed that crops including pineapples, bananas, mushrooms and Naga king chillies make Nagaland a unique place in India, and encouraged maintaining global quality standards and increasing productivity.
“In doing so, the farmers would fetch good prices which would improve their financial condition and this would further contribute to the country’s GDP,” he pointed out.
Stating that agriculture is the most vital source of livelihood, Tomar highlighted some of the state and central funding programmes and asked the farmers to fully utilise the schemes.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was working to ensure that the state government receives adequate funds for agriculture and stressed that technology should reach farmers through CIH.
He also appreciated Modi’s vision for doubling farmers’ income and the continued focus on the northeast.
Tomar expressed optimism that Nagaland’s farmers would usher in a new revolution in horticulture and also assured that CIH would not be shifted outside Nagaland and that the central government would continue to give sufficient funds for progress and improvement.
Nagaland Horticulture Department adviser Mhathung Yanthan said that there were about 30 GI registered crops in the Northeast alone.
He urged the agriculture minister to promote the region’s unique crops for marketing not only within the country but also outside to create avenues for local farmers and young entrepreneurs.
While expressing displeasure over reports of the merger of CIH with the National Horticulture Board, Yanthan feared that if it was merged, the very purpose and objectives of setting up the institute would get diluted.