IMPHAL, July 28: The Manipur Governor Vinod Kumar Duggal stated that Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for developing organic farming for commercial purposes in the North East while inaugurating the Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC) at Central Agricultural University today.
At the outset the Governor inspected the campus, various machines and agricultural products.
“We must utilise these funds wisely to not only increase the production of organic foods in the region including the State but also in educating and sensitising growers,” he said.
Continuing that potential in pomology and floriculture is yet to be exploited, he said that the State which has different climatic zones can grow a large variety of fruits and flowers by adopting proper technology for growing.
Adding that post harvest technology, transportation and marketing are essential for making organic farming profitable on a grand scale, he said: “Post harvest technology is a pressing need as a good percentage of the yield in the country gets wasted due to poor harvesting, so CAU should try and come forward with appropriate technology for small farmers in the North East in this regard.”
He further said that agriculture and its allied activities in the State continue to be the mainstay of the population so its importance can’t be over emphasised.
Lauding CAU which was established to provide quality education in the field of agriculture and allied subjects to the seven North East States barring Assam for rendering yeoman service not only to the students but also to the farming community by bringing in new technologies and providing quality inputs for improving the yields, he said CAU has been of immense help to the State by regularly commissioning specific studies and preparing papers about the potential in the State in agriculture and horticulture.
If the earnings of the farmers can be increased through more productivity, it will not only provide better returns for them but also improve the economy of the State, he observed.
Describing orchid cultivation as another area where Manipur can do well, he said the State is rich in orchids with about 300 species but due to various reasons; many of the orchid varieties are becoming rare.
Efforts have been made to conserve them but at the same time there is an urgent need to identify species and develop hybrids which can be marketed, increase their numbers through tissue culture and market the flowers in national and international markets, he said.
Pointing out that farmers need to be trained properly as growing orchids for international markets is not easy, he said it has to be conservation coupled with creating economic relevance because only then the communities will stand to gain.
He asserted that some of the finest varieties of pineapple are grown in Manipur but because of the State’s location, the transportation cost of the fruit to the outside markets becomes forbiddingly high.