Kohima, August 20: An ‘Outreach cum buyer seller meet on organic food production in Northeast’ organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Agriculture department sponsored by APEDA was held at Hotel Japfu, Kohima on 20th August 2019.
Minister, Agriculture & Corporation, G. Kaito Aye said that this is an initiative to uplift and promote the Agro based farmers of the state and the government is giving all its effort to make Nagaland an Organic State.
To facilitate stronger marketing access under the ownership of growers’ organisation, Government of Nagaland has registered the Brand as “NAGA ORGANIC”. The FPOs and entrepreneurs under the mission have started selling their produces and products under this brand, he added.
While expressing the hardships to facilitate market accessibility of the produces he mentioned that lack of market information and linkages with buyers, lack of storage and cold chain facilities, high cost of third party organic certification which has to be borne by the farmers after the completion of Government’s sponsored programme, high cost of transportation from farm to collection centers and to the market due to hilly terrain, lack of air cargo facility and other logistics in most of the Airports in North-East region except Guwahati particularly for the export of fresh vegetables, fruits and floriculture, lack of processing and packaging facilities are yet to be streamlined, However, the Government is taking up measures to tackle the issues that are prevailing and assured all support from the Nagaland Government to explore the prospects of organic food production in the State.
Kaito also urge the ICC, APEDA and the Buyers & Investors to continue to support and promote the Agro-based farmers in the state to make their venture successful both in words and in deeds and hope this meet will convince the huge potential of Nagaland in the organic food production sector and the immense scope of investment in food processing industries.
Advisor Horticulture, Mhathung Yanthan in his address expressed his appreciation for associating with this ‘Outreach cum buyer seller meet on organic food production in North East’.
He said this event is being held at an appropriate time with the fact that our State and the entire North-East is looking towards organic farming for transforming the economy. Our State is in the final stage of bringing out our ‘Nagaland State Organic Policy’ which he believe will be able to guide us in transforming our State’s ‘Organic by default’ into an ‘Organic by design’ hub,
The benefit of having a varied topography and diverse agro climatic region within the State itself presents us with an extra-ordinary opportunity to also designate some of these areas completely organic which the State is working on, he added.
He was optimist that the discussions and interactions between the different stakeholders will generate new ideas and tangible recommendations for our farmers and organic producers so that the issue of marketing our organic produces can be tackled effectively and urged all the Stakeholders – the sellers, the buyers and the policy makers to come together and chalk out a comprehensive plan to take the way forward.
He also acknowledged the organisers, The Indian Chamber of Commerce and APEDA for taking the initiative to organize this meet at such a crucial point in our goal of doubling our farmers’ income and looking for a solution to ensure sustainability.
Principal Secretary, Horticulture, M.K Mero while appreciating the initiative taken up by the ICC mentioned that, awareness in this kind of programme should be emphasized to promote and practice organic farming and cultivation for the benefit of the farmer and the people in general. He also stressed on certifications policies on organic products and the difficulties faced in logistics, exports and connectivity problems, lack of cold storage, infrastructure etc.
Regional Director, Indian Chamber of Commerce highlighted on ‘Organic products’ and what it really means. Nagaland has the potential and resources to build up a well organized producer as the topology and the landscape is strategically located, surrounded with international borders and have a high opportunity to export to our neighboring countries. He also mentioned that the raw materials and organic products should be of international standard level with quality exportable products to compete with other countries in a competitive market.
Advisor, NAB (Organic) APEDA, Dr. A.K Yadav gave a slide highlighting the export and import scenarios, Global Agri trade in the world, Organic agriculture in India, Market potential, Export destinations etc.
Later in the programme, Kaito launched the ‘Naga Organic’ app developed by Agriculture and Horticulture department in collaboration with IT department. This app is designed and developed with the objective to facilitate the buyers and sellers (FPC/FPO) find their interest of produce products and a platform to the FPO/FPC to directly get in touch with the buyer without involving any middle man.
(News Source: Siizo Kikhi IA, DIPR)