DCM markets state’s agro-horti potential to manufacturers

KOCHI (Kerala), Apr 20: As part of his endeavour to promote the agriculture potential of Arunachal Pradesh, and to lure big agro-based industrialists to the state, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Friday visited the head offices of the Spice Board of India (SBoI) and Synthite, a leading manufacturer of value-added spices, here.
During his interaction with the officials of the SBoI, Mein urged the board to expedite setting up of two auction centres for spices in Namsai and Kimin.
He lamented that despite land having been made available and Rs 1 crore each having been allocated for setting up auction centres at the two places in the last financial year, the state horticulture department and the SBoI could not make any progress in this regard.
He informed that fund for the purpose has been retained in this year’s budget too, and urged the officials to coordinate with the Arunachal Pradesh horticulture department in setting up the auction centres.
Highlighting the huge scope for cultivating spice crops in Arunachal, Mein said, “The potential cannot be converted into revenue-generating resources unless we activate and accelerate ourselves.”
Expressing happiness over the registration of Namsai-based Spices Farmer Producer Companies (SFPC) for ginger on 17 April, he thanked the SBoI for its initiative.
The SBoI’s officials, including directors Siddaramappa S (finance) and Dr AB Remashree (R&D) informed that the registration of the second SFPC for large cardamom in Ziro is under process.
The board sought the Arunachal government’s support in the matter of establishing SFPCs in the Northeast region, the proposal of which has been submitted to the NEC (department of NER) for necessary funding. Mein gave assurance that he would look into it.
The officials made a PowerPoint presentation highlighting their activities in the NE region, including Arunachal. They said Arunachal Pradesh has the second highest number of field offices (nine offices in as many districts) after Kerala in the country.
During his interaction with the CEO of Synthite, Aju Jacob, Mein invited the manufacturer to start contract farming in Arunachal, the way it is doing in Kerala and Sikkim for organic turmeric.
“By way of contract farming, the company can help the farmers of the state by providing quality saplings, technical know-how, and buyback assurance, which in turn will help to improve their economy,” he said.
Mein also invited the officials of the SBoI and Synthite to the agriculture conclave scheduled to be held in Itanagar from 18-19 May. (PRO)