Meeting on cluster farming held

SEPPA, Jul 21: The East Kameng district empowered committee for cluster farming and nutritional kitchen garden programme, chaired by East Kameng DC P Pravimal Abhishek, convened a meeting here with all stakeholders on Tuesday.
The meeting was held to finalize the focus crops, based on the participatory rural appraisal held earlier with local farmers, discuss the budget and convergence strategy, and review the progress of the preparatory works for the implementation of the cluster farming and nutritional kitchen garden programme in the district.
The district administration is planning to develop four clusters in the district, with a sowing area of approximately 161 hectares of land.
It was decided that seeds, saplings and labour components for the programme will be taken up under the MGNREGS, for which geotagging will be carried out on all components before generating the person day.
All the costs related to procurement of fencing materials and tools and equipment for the custom hiring centre and construction of irrigation channels will be borne under the relevant provisions of the 15th FC.
The funding for promotion and marketing of Papu Valley-based rice by Deboyar FPO will be done by means of convergence with other schemes. The district administration is conceptualizing a concept paper, and has decided to make marketing of the Papu Valley rice initiative a model programme by striving for promotion and GI certification of its rice, besides marketing of the products under brand names.
Early constitution of FPGs for each cluster and FPOs by combining the FPGs was also stressed on.
Women SHGs will also be included as important stakeholders in every FPG, especially for marketing, promotion and bookkeeping.
Stressing on self-sustainability of the cluster farming initiative, the DC directed the KVK and the agriculture and horticulture departments to carry out market assessment on demand and supply, and advised them to “rework the focus crops, based on the inputs of the farmers.”
Informing that land development will be carried out from 1 August, the DC exhorted the KVK and the agriculture and horticulture departments to provide technical guidance and support to the farmers, and asked them to conduct more training at the village and cluster levels.
The modalities for lifting, storage and distribution of NKG seeds and saplings were also chalked out during the meeting. (DIPRO)