Set up IIP zonal office in Nagaland — APC to GOI - Eastern Mirror
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Set up IIP zonal office in Nagaland — APC to GOI

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Aug 04, 2022 7:16 pm
Y Kikheto speaking during the programme at Tourist Lodge in Dimapur on Thursday.

Our Reporter
Dimapur, Aug. 4 (EMN):
Asserting that the Northeast region has been untouched by the green revolution and consequently, produces organic fruits and vegetables, Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), Y Kikheto Sema on Thursday requested the government of India to consider setting up a zonal office of the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) in Nagaland, as the state is the ‘heart of the region’ and has a lot of potential.

He was speaking during the inaugural function of a one-day capacity building training programme on “Packaging for fresh and processed food products in Nagaland”, organised by IIP at Tourist Lodge in Dimapur.

He added that Nagaland deserves to have one zonal office to give training to the people, as most of the fruits and vegetables that are harvested in the state are not found in the other parts of the country during off season.

He also said that the traditional system of agriculture is difficult as most of the farmers practice Jhum and shifting agriculture. Sema, thus, advised Naga scholars to write about the way of cultivation, which could also be included in the syllabus, so that the younger generation can learn and improve on it.

He added that another challenge that farmers face is transportation; and suggested packaging and processing be done at their own centres or villages.

Director of Agriculture, M Ben Yanthan, stated that farmers have become players in this competitive food market with their surplus and quality production, higher productivity and adopting new technological interventions, both in input and management practices.

He shared that at present, they are mostly concentrating on the production processes with the findings from the GOI.

However, “the future of agriculture production is at stake particularly due to threats of climate change and its impact on the food production system, especially organic agriculture, livelihood issues and the environment, ” he said.

He therefore asserted that ‘we must work together to work out a suitable strategy to combat the adverse effects of climate change’.

Yanthan suggested that primary processing units including packaging be established at the farm and village level to minimise transportation cost and to prevent wastage of raw agriculture products, which will in turn encourage the farmers to produce more in doubling their farm income and incentivise production.

Special guests of the programme along with organisers and participants after the programme.

He updated that the state government has facilitated formation of 38 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and Farmer Producer Companies (FPC) under the prime minister’s flagship programme of Mission Organic Value Chain Development of North Eastern Region (MOVCD-NER) covering 23,000 ha under organic certification. Around 24,197 farmers have been involved in the programme since 2015-16 till date with an objective to develop crop-specific organic production clusters having low volume but high value.

He further shared that to facilitate active marketing access under the ownership of growers’ organisation, the government of Nagaland has registered the brand name as “Naga Organic”, where the packaging of the fresh organic produce and the processed products “along with the branding with our logo will go a long way in fetching premium price and easy marketing access, thereby enhancing the profitability of our farmer’s produce.”

R Elithung Lotha, Director of Horticulture, also told the participants that if they want to be successful entrepreneurs, packaging is one of the areas where they can shine.

More than 140 participants, from non-governmental organisations, FPOs and micro entrepreneurs from across the state, who are engaged in food processing, took part in the training programme.

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Aug 04, 2022 7:16:47 pm