Air cargo services introduced for the first time in Nagaland
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Air cargo services introduced for the first time in Nagaland

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 02, 2021 8:57 pm

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio flag off the Air Cargo Services after the launching program of Air Cargo Services to Dimapur at Dimapur Airport, Nagaland on Tuesday. (EM Images/Caisii Mao)

Our Reporter
Dimapur, March 2 (EMN): In what would boost farmers and entrepreneurs’ income through enhancement of trade ties with markets outside the state, air cargo service was introduced for the first time in Nagaland on Tuesday.

Launching the air cargo services at Dimapur Airport, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said it was a historic event for the people of the state and the beginning of one of the biggest opportunities, especially for the youth.

He said the service, which is a ‘long-felt desire’, would benefit the people of the state and save local produce from going to waste due to the unavailability of air cargo services.

“Nagaland is blessed with vast land resources and varied agro-climatic conditions and is very rich in biodiversity; and moreover the state has a wide range of potential production like organic products of fruits and vegetables, spices and plantation crops and varieties of exotic flowers,” said Rio.

He added that the government was aware that farmers and educated youths were keen to take up modern farming, producing high quality, high value, organic fruits and vegetables, ‘which need to reach the market’.

Terming it as a huge challenge for entrepreneurs, he advised the Agri-Allied and Horticulture department not to just stick to demonstration but to empower the entrepreneurs to become partners in the supply chain.

The chief minister said that Nagaland didn’t have the supply chain to export its produce “but now with the availability of this facility (air cargo service), perishable products and processed foods can reach all the cosmopolitan and beyond the country”.

“There is no benefit unless the product is marketed and the high value product does not fetch a high price if the benefit does not reach the farmer,” he added.

He suggested formulating a system to maintain consistency in production and quality, saying that it is a “demand-driven” market.  He added that ‘unless farmers are stable economically, one cannot say the society is strong economically’.

Rio urged the department to educate the farmers and entrepreneurs, organise workshops to help them understand business better and guide them to make the state ‘Naturally Nagaland’. He also asked the gathering to review their culture system and advised the farmers to produce more.

Plan to build new cargo with modern technology

Regional Executive Director, Airport Authority of India (AAI), North East Region, M Suresh, in his keynote address, said that air cargo service is a ‘very small operation’ but it has a great impact on the local economy as well as the Aviation industry.

He added that the newly introduced cargo services will create opportunities for operating bigger aircrafts to Dimapur Airport in the near future.

Informing that Dimapur Airport was under the defence Air fleet before it was taken over by the AAI in 1987, he said the existing terminal building was initiated in 1994 and completed in 1998. He added that the Aviation department is planning to build a new cargo setup in Dimapur Airport with modern technology.

Suresh requested the chief minister to grant additional land for the construction of a new terminal building.

He informed that the AAI is going to invest INR 1300 crore at Guwahati Airport where 50 percent of work has been completed and around INR 400 crore has been spent in Tripura (Agartala) and the facility is expected to be inaugurated by the end of June this year. He added that they are going to develop new terminal buildings in Manipur and are ‘keen to develop Nagaland as well’.

Advisor for Horticulture and Border Affairs Nagaland, Mhathung Yanthan said that it was an auspicious day for the state of Nagaland as the ‘long-awaited and cherished dream’ of having air cargo facilities had been fulfilled.

He added that even though it appears to be a small achievement, “it is surely going to have a cascading effect on the economic activities of the state”.

Yanthan also encouraged the stakeholders to make use of the facilities and urged the Agriculture Production Commissioner to convene a meeting with the Agri and Allied departments including the  Nagaland State Marketing and Agriculture Board, Naturally Nagaland, Organic  Connect, Entrepreneurs Associates and Zenoric , and come up with efficient marketing strategy.

Commissioner and Secretary of Horticulture department, Anenla T Sato informed that the first consignment to be exported on the launch day consisted of 128 cartons of fruits and vegetables and some finished products of local entrepreneurs.

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 02, 2021 8:57:33 pm