Nafed likely to market north-east horticultural products
The Planning Commission is trying to rope in National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) for marketing horticulture products of the North East.
Advisor to the Planning Commission, L Rynjah, who reviewed the scheme of technology mission for integrated development of horticulture in the North East and three Himalayan states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, felt there was a marketing gap. While horticulture production has increased considerably, marketing of the produces remains the main weakness in the North East.
He informed that talks are on with Nafed for its involvement in procuring and marketing horticultural products in the North East. Nafed will help in marketing outside the region. “In the 11th Five Year Plan, Rs 1500 crore has been earmarked for horticulture of eight Himalayan states. However, funds in the North East are under-utilised.”
He added that during 2007-2008, Rs 321.76 crore was utilised while in 2008-2009, Rs 299 crore was utilised. Sikkim topped in horticulture in North East while Assam and Meghalaya were also doing well.
H P Singh, deputy director-general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said there was need for refining the technology for making it adaptable to local conditions. He also requested the commission to provide more funds for the research.
In Assam, about 31,000 hectare area is under cultivation of crops of commercial importance under the Horticulture Technology Mission.
Officials of Planning Commission, ministry of agriculture, ministry of food processing industries, North Eastern Council, National Horticulture Board, department of marketing and inspection, marketing boards and the agriculture universities of various states and other stakeholders participated in the meeting.