Khandu highlights state’s agriculture scenario to Union ministers

ITANAGAR, 1 Sep: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday took part in the video conferencing of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union DoNER Minister G Kishan Reddy with the CMs of the eight northeastern states.

Speaking at the conference to discuss the development of the agriculture sector in the North East, Khandu informed that Arunachal has 25 lakh hectares of cultivable area of which only 2.5 lakh hectares has been put to use.

On slow coverage of oil palm cultivation in the state, he attributed it to the lack of commitment from the promoters in setting up of processing factories in Arunachal that had led to losing of confidence among the farmers.

Consequently, an MoU with one of the promoters was cancelled and meetings called with the existing ones to fast track the mission, the CM informed.

Allaying the fear of impact of oil palm cultivation on forests in the state, Khandu said it is unlikely to have any effect since the identified areas for the purpose covers only the wastelands. He informed that a committee from the central government has already identified an area of 1.33 lakh hectares of wasteland for oil palm cultivation.

The CM requested help from the central government for increase of oil palm coverage in the state to 12-15000 hectares in the first year of the cabinet announcement of the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP).

Speaking on the agenda of organic mission, Khandu informed that the state has launched its mission in 2016 with the target completion of 2023 covering an area of 1 lakh hectares. He said the phase 1 and 2 of the mission are complete, and the mission is currently underway at phase 3. He requested for an additional five years extension of the organic mission so that more people can be benefitted.

The CM further requested the union ministers for setting up of numerous small cold chain storage facilities across the state to reduce wastage of farm produce, besides speaking on the agenda of bamboo and horticulture development. (CM’s PR Cell)