Day-2 of National seminar on horticulture
Vast potential of horti in Nagaland, says horticulturists
MEDZIPHEMA, FEBRUARY 27
As the three-day national seminar on ‘Sustainable Horticulture vis-à-vis Changing Environment’ entered into the second day at the School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development (SASRD), Nagaland University, Medziphema on Friday, eminent horticulturists attending the seminar have expressed confidence that a state like Nagaland whose climate and soil conditions are temperate, has great potentials to do well in the horticultural sector. “There is a vast unexploited potential of horticulture in Nagaland,” asserts Dr. Kirti Singh, chairperson of World Noni Research Foundation. While stating that the northeast is prospective of thriving in production of all kinds of horticultural crops, he said Nagaland has a naturally rich horticultural heritage with its local vegetables and flowers, many of which are not grown anywhere in the country. The prominent veteran horticulturist is of the view that there is a dire need for a central agricultural university in the state. Only then, a desired level can be reached, he stated, adding this will also fulfil the needs of farmers who have to adopt the technology so as to increase their income and health standards.
“Every type of food crop can be grown here…. Nagaland could become the food bowl of the country,” says Dr. VS Thakur, Vice Chancellor of Dr. YS Parmar University of Agri & Forestry, Himachal Pradesh. But in order to promote this potential, he said, a proper planning is needed and the state has to be divided into different food zones. He pointed out that designating different crop regions in accordance with those that are suitable for specific areas will lead to less losses in distribution/marketing.
Also sharing his views on the prospects of Nagaland in the horticulture sector, former director DRDO New Delhi & president of Indian Society for Protected Cultivation, Dr. Brahma Singh told Eastern Mirror that the state could go a long way if proper steps were taken in the process of cultivation in regard to changing climatic conditions.
“Climate change is here to stay…. We cannot change it, but we can minimize it, and manage with it,” he said. He considers that the seminar will prove useful primarily to the farmers in Nagaland, horti aspirants, students of SASRD, northeast farmers and the country as a whole as the theme is very important and inevitable.
Talking about the basic qualities of new age protected cultivation technology, he said here conditions can be created so that adverse factors do not affect crop growing. He went on to explain that there is a wide range of low cost protective materials which are easily available such as bamboo, plastics etc. to be used for shelter structures and mulching purposes. He cited that China started using this technology and has moved on to become the largest producer of vegetables.
Also emphasizing that Nagaland could do well in nursery production under protected cultivation in soil-less medium, Dr. Singh said farmers in the state should be encouraged to rise up and meet the challenges.
According to former director NCOF New Delhi, Dr. AK Yadav, the next fifty years is the ‘Horticulture Age’ and the time has come for the country to generate higher productivity in this sector. Stating that the northeast has great potentials in organic farming (horticultural produce), he however pointed that herbal/aromatic plants have not gained much ground in the region, including Nagaland, and feels the need to promote the growth of the same in the region.
Meanwhile, former Dean SASRD, Prof. VB Singh sharing his outlook on the three-day seminar, said that the programme will facilitate in the technical upgradation of research scholars and those who are involved in agriculture and allied sectors. He is enthusiastic that through this seminar, technology generated throughout the country will be compiled and further transfer the technology to the farmers, particularly those in the northeast.
Technical sessions on Advances in Production Technology of Fruits & Plantation Crops/Vegetables & Spices/Floriculture, Aromatic and Medicinal Plant, and Crop Care & Plant Protection were held on the second day.
On Saturday, the final technical session will be held on Post Harvest Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and HRD in Horticulture from 9 am, which will be followed by the valedictory function at 1 pm. The function will be graced by the Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya.