Friday, August 24, 2007

The Horticulture Growers Meet @ Gangtok

Programme to stress on flori-culture and special crop patterns

Gangtok: The Horticulture Growers Meet was held today at ChintanBhawan under the banner of department of horticulture, government of Sikkim to discuss plans to form an 'Apex Co-Operative Society for marketing various horticulture produce of Sikkim.The meet is Chaired by agriculture minister Shri Somnath Paudyal.

The imminent personalities in horticulture and floriculture Smt. Tika Maya Chamling grace the occasion as Chief guest while Shri K.C.Pradhan as special guest attended the Meet along with Secretary agriculture R.Telang,IAS.

It was informed more than 5000 groups involving 50000 families are now actively engaged in field of this specialized agriculture in state.

The Sikkim horticulture and cash crops development department has become the first government agency to implement the state self-reliance mission undertaken by the government. The department has started conducting training sessions across the state to augment human resource.

“The objective of the programme is to develop skilled, competitive, versatile and technically competent manpower. It will also enable them to harness potential opportunities for attaining self-sufficiency and contribute towards effective resource management and policy decisions,” said Somnath Poudyal, the horticulture and cash crops development minister. The training programme initiated there included construction of green houses and its management, pest management and technology.

The training will cover 18 agriculture disciplines with emphasis on floriculture, off-season vegetables and protected cultivation. This capacity development exercise will stress on effective utilisation of natural resource focusing on production of “high value-low volume” crops and switch to non-traditional cropping patterns.
In order to make this capacity development programme a success, officials in the rank of additional director have been designated as nodal officers in each subdivision.
To drive home the importance of this initiative and popularise the schemes, people — youths, entrepreneurs and farmers — who have completed this training exercise will be given preference in government benefits and schemes.

Secretary R.Telang called upon gathering to get involved also in ancillary activities like cold-storage, scientific produce packaging as well as need to further augment easy financial loans from banking sector in state in field of horticulture and floriculture.