27 Nov 2013

Centre to Support Arunachal Pradesh for fast Agricultural Growth Shri Pawar Lays Foundation of Pasighat Agriculture College

Shri Sharad Pawar
Agriculture Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar, today offered the Central Government’s full support for fast growth in all areas of agriculture and food processing in Arunachal Pradesh. 

He made the offer while laying the foundation stone of the State’s first agriculture college and inaugurated a krishi mela at Pasighat today. 

The Minister appreciated the recent initiatives taken by the State Government towards fast growth of agriculture, rice procurement, new plantations, export of fruits, etc. He expressed the hope that the state will be able to exploit its vast potential in horticulture and floriculture. 

Giving the details of the support given by Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Ministries to the State, the Minister said : “This year we have allocated more than 15 Cr for NFSM, 32 Cr for RKVY and 48 Cr for Horticulture Mission. I am extremely liberal while supporting this state and has told my officers that if state is ready to absorb more funds, we should readily provide the same. 

We also appreciated that some areas of Arunachal Pradesh can produce oil palm and hence this year we included Arunachal Pradesh also under oil palm development scheme. I am also of the considered opinion that Arunachal has tremendous potential in bamboo development. The state has not yet used its fullest capacity to harness the benefit from the national bamboo mission. The state also needs to work on a mission mode on other plantation crops like rubber etc. 

“Farm produce are perishable in nature. In hilly terrain, it is difficult to bring them from production catchments to road or rail heads. Middleman exploits perishability to their advantage. In the absence of post-harvest management infrastructure, handling, packaging and transport, high production and productivity do not translate into higher net return to the growers, a disincentive to invest and achieve high productivity. 

Therefore, there is need to develop processes and equipments through which perishability can be reduced, marketable surplus can be transformed into value added products, which fetch high price, store longer and allow for sufficient time to market them. I understand that steps have been taken in this direction; however, lot is yet to be achieved. Ministry of Food Processing Industries would be always ready to help the state in developing the agro-processing sector. 

We would be very happy to help the state in building the cold chains, modern slaughter houses and many such processing units. Just in the last week my Ministry has sanctioned a grant of Rs.9 Cr for establishment of modern slaughter house in Itanagar. I would also ask our National Horticulture Board to explore possibility of running a special Horticulture Train between Tinsukiya to Delhi or Tinsukiya to Kolkota. “

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