Endowed with vast and diverse geographical landscape suitable for various cash-rich agri-horti produces in Arunachal Pradesh, CM Pema Khandu reiterated his government’s emphasis on agriculture and allied sectors for employment generation as well as self-sustainability.
In the two-day State Conclave on Perspective Planning for Resurgent Agriculture and Allied Sectors Khandu expressed hope that the sector with huge potentials would witness a sea of development in the days to come from the two-day brainstorming amongst experts, officials and progressive farmers from across the state.
The conclave would focus on four broad themes – enabling environment for development of agriculture and allied sector, promotion of sustainable use of bamboo, sericulture, apiculture, value chain and agri-export, promotion of horticulture and spices sector and promotion of animal husbandry and fisheries sectors.
Khandu also asserted that the North East should not be taken up as a single entity while rolling out programs, policies and schemes.
“All the Northeastern states – while being looked upon as one single entity from the mainland perspective – are quite distinct and different from each other. Each state has its own potentials and challenges. Even within a state like ours, each region, district and community have their own potentials and challenges. I would therefore request the Govt. of India officials to approve and sanction state specific programs and schemes for the states to benefit in real terms,” he said.
He said under the ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi Tak’ program, each district has been allotted to one minister and a secretary-level officer, who would take up the programs and policies of the government with the district level officers, who would further take these up with block and village level officials.
Lauding the four themes of the conclave, the Chief Minister called for focus on bamboo production and its use for commercial purposes. He said bamboo, which is abundant in the state, has so many commercial uses that people in the state aren’t aware of and suggested brainstorming on it to find viable methods for its processing for sustainable economy of the farmers.
Expressing concern over hesitation by banks to offer loans to farmers owing to poor repayment, Khandu acknowledged the suggestion put forward for intervention of the state government by evolving a system to guarantee repayment of loans. He said the government would prepare a module so as to enable farmers repay their loans as well as guarantee repayment to banks as a confidence building measure.
He further informed that the state government would soon tie up with the University of California, Berkeley, and develop 100 Smart Villages across the state as a pilot project.
The conclave is also being attended by ICAR, Spice Board of India and about 60 experts from agriculture and allied sectors.