Regional Agri Fair starts

Sona calls for sustainable agro practices

PASIGHAT, Nov 11: Expressing concern over the contribution of reckless farming methods to global warming, Legislative Assembly Speaker PD Sona suggested to the state’s farmers to “not mess with nature and go forward without harming it.”
Sona was speaking on the inaugural day of the three-day Regional Agri Fair 2019-20, themed ‘Ecosystem approach for sustainable agriculture’, at the College of Horticulture & Forestry (CHF) here in East Siang district on Monday.
“Blessed with fertile land, water and conducive agro-climatic conditions, Arunachal Pradesh can become an agriculturally rich state,” the speaker said. He exuded hope that the three-day fair would help the farmers of the state learn about the latest technical know-how in agriculture and allied sectors.
“What we are lacking is technical know-how,” said Sona, and urged farmers to avail the opportunity to “learn something new from the experts” and apply their knowledge to practice sustainable agricultural activities.
The speaker also requested Imphal (Manipur)-based Central Agriculture University (CAU) to “focus on temperate agriculture” in Arunachal, saying the state has a vast area under the temperate zone.
Kanubari MLA Gabriel D Wangsu in his address said “stakeholders, from scientists to extension services, must guide and handhold farmers by providing technological inputs and innovative farming methods to overcome critical gaps, ensure good yields, and enhance their production in agriculture and allied sectors.”
He also stressed the need for promoting agri-entrepreneurship.
Wangsu said the state government has taken initiatives to provide marketing support to the farmers, adding that the agriculture-horticulture sector is one of the top priorities of the government.
“All stakeholders must strive to achieve the goal to make Arunachal one of the leading producers in the agri and allied sectors and make farming a profitable venture,” he said.
ADC (HQ) Taddo Borang urged growers and SHGs to learn during the fair, and exhorted youths to take up agro activities on a commercial scale.
CAU Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof M Premjit Singh, said “integrated farming system, which has been practiced since ancient times in the Northeast region, has to be made more scientific.”
He said introduction of rainwater harvesting, quality seed production, primary processing units in villages, cattle-based farming, farm mechanization, etc, would play a significant role in doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.
“The NE region can compete with other regions of India by focusing on their strengths like cultivation of turmeric, king chilli, bird’s eye chilli, kiwi, pineapple, tea, large cardamom, aromatic rice, and indigenous fish culture like Pengba (Osteobrama belangeri) of Manipur,” the VC said.
CHF Dean Prof BN Hazarika, its EE Director Prof RK Saha, Andhra Pradesh-based Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University’s VC Prof V Damodara Naidu, RGU VC Prof Saket Kushwaha, and NERIST Director Prof HS Yadav also spoke.
Earlier, Sona along with the dignitaries released a souvenir, Kishan Diary, and other publications of the university. He also distributed litchi saplings among selected farmers.
Fifty stalls have been set up at the fairground. Over 400 farmers are participating in the event, including farmers from Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal, Tripura and Sikkim, brought by the constituent colleges of the CAU.
Innovative farmers and progressive farmers from different land-based departments, educational and research institutes, NGOs and SHGs of the region, besides officials of KVKs, input dealers, and agri-entrepreneurs are showcasing their activities during the fair. (PRO)