Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has said that there exists tremendous potential in NE states for development of the horticulture sector and we need to ensure focused attention for harnessing available potential through scaling up ongoing interventions under various schemes. Addressing the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Horticulture Development in India held in Shillong he said the challenge is to complement the sector with food processing, agro logistics, agri-business, input related services and agricultural lending. Referring to the challenges faced by horticulture crops the Minister suggested that grower associations and farmer producer organisations should also be taken on board,from planting material to post harvest management and issues of logistics and price discovery.
The Minister said setting up of market infrastructure has been linked with reforms in APMC act for permitting direct marketing of horticulture produce. Shri Singh said,“ Although we have achieved a substantial breakthrough in production, the challenge lies in converting this into gains for farmer. We still have a long way to go in establishing a robust cold chain system from farm to fork. Creation of infrastructure for post harvest management and value addition therefore are a high priority area with focus on creating cold chain networks”. He said horticulture mechanization is being promoted to bring in efficiency in horticulture production and harvesting operations.
The meeting was also attended by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Shri MohanbhaiKundariya, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and six Members of Parliament besides the Director of ICAR NEH Region Dr. SV Ngachan.
Earlier the Minister visited the ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region andinaugurated the FATE (Facility for Air Temperature Enhancement) and CTGC (Carbon dioxide Thermal Growth Chamber) at the Complex and also interacted with 250 farmers on the occasion.