19 Dec : Union Minister of State, Ministry of Rural development, Agatha Sangma graced the valedictory function of the 2nd North East Agri Expo 2010 as the Chief Guest at Dimapur this evening.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Sangma said that agriculture plays a very important role in the North East region since 80% of the economy is dependent on agriculture. The culture and traditions of the North East region is intertwined with agriculture, she said further stating that Nagaland has increased agricultural productivity and remarkably advances in the field of agriculture. She expressed happiness that Nagaland has taken an initiative to concentrate on agriculture which is already bringing about a revolution.
Ms Sangma, in her speech, touched briefly on key factors that need to be looked at by all stakeholders. The first, she said, is the need to concentrate on research in agriculture, marketing and food processing. She said that the knowledge gathered should be passed on to the farmers so that they are equipped and made aware. Another key area, she said, is food processing and the need to improve food processing capacity. She also stressed on food security and the need to invest in organic farming for a healthier option for the population. Ms Sangma further said that communication and connectivity is another key factor that should be looked into for better accessibility with the farmers.
In his speech the State Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio said that the NE Agri Expo was organised with the theme ‘Prosperity through Agriculture’ with an objective to showcase the potentials of agriculture & allied sectors in the NE States and to develop strategies to achieve self-sufficiency and manage marketable surplus and introduce new technologies and practices that would improve agriculture. The Expo was aimed to create a greater perspective aiming to showcase eight states of the region as one unit of attraction to investors and visitors alike, Rio said.
Terming the Expo as a resounding success, Rio expressed confidence that the results of the Expo in the immediate and long-term would go a long way in improving the agriculture and allied sector of the region in the years to come. ‘It is our endeavour to make this event a biennial expo with the support of the Ministers of Rural Development. Agriculture and DONER’, Rio added. He congratulated all the Government and non-Governmental agencies, individuals and groups for the success of the expo and particularly appreciated all the participating states of the NER and to FICCI for making the expo an event which has shown the potential to cross regional boundaries and become a major national and international event in the years to come.
Rio challenged the farmers of the region to take advantage of the opportunities that are being provided and rise to the occasion that our products will have not just quality but value additions and they will be on par, if not, be better than. ‘It goes without saying that the Government of India must take development and upliftment of the region on a war footing so that the disparities between the region and the mainland are removed sooner than later’, Rio further added.
In the programme, Dr. Akali, Director, CIH, gave a report on the recommendations of the NE Marketing Summit. The function was chaired by Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Chumben Murry while vote of thanks was delivered by APC & Principal Secretary, H.K. Khulu IAS.