CS convenes meeting on MOVCD-NER

ITANAGAR, Aug 14: Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar convened a state level executive committee (SLEC) meeting to discuss the Mission Organic Value Chain Development (MOVCD)-Northeast region (NER) at the civil secretariat here on Friday.
The MOVCD is a “mission mode programme on organic farming and value addition in cluster approach,” Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board (APAMB) CEO Okit Palling informed in a release.
During the meeting, the CEO informed that 21 farmers-producers companies (FPC) have been registered in the state in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the mission for undertaking organic cultivation across the state.
“Each FPC in the state is a group of 250-400 farmers undertaking organic cultivation in 500 hectares of land. Under the current mission, 5,000 hectares of land are organically certified and 5,500 hectares are in organic convergence stage,” Palling said, adding that “under the new phase, 10,000 hectares will be undertaken across the state in the next three years.”
The CS advocated focused intervention during the post-harvest season and marketing of certified agri-horti produces under the mission. He also directed the agriculture department to “focus on high markets on the national level for direct sale of the agriculture produce.”
Kumar suggested “taking up prime space” at the Guwahati (Assam) airport and other prominent locations to create the Arunachal brand and increase the visibility of the state’s products.
He said all the CBOs and resource institutes to be engaged under different schemes “must nurture and involve educated youths of the state.” The CS also suggested that the department should promote “active and serious SHGs” for providing handholding.
The SLEC approved setting up of small processing units for each FPC in the state, which, Palling said, “is a huge development and will encourage all the 8,500 farmers directly involved in the mission till date.”
The SLEC also approved new clusters to be taken up in the next three years across the state. The possibility of growing crops such as walnut and king chilli was also discussed.
The SLEC chairman proposed creating an FPC in Papu Valley, in East Kameng district, for promoting the indigenous paddy grown in the valley and creating a brand around it.
Agriculture Secretary Bidol Tayeng gave assurance that the department would focus on post-harvest and marketing of certified organic produces of the state.
APAMB Director Tadu Game presented a brief on the achievements under the mission so far in the state. He suggested that, “since the mission focuses more on the commercial angle than welfare nature,” the districts’ officials should “entrust nodal officers to work dedicatedly on the success of the mission for the welfare of the farming community.”
On the Centre’s advice, the state has formed state level and district level committees for the agriculture infrastructure fund, and has also formed FPOs. NABARD Itanagar GM GK Nair made a presentation on the two initiatives under the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme.
The secretaries of the industries and the agriculture and allied departments also participated in the meeting.