Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has requested the Union Government to set up small cold chain storage facilities across the State to reduce the wastage of farm produce.
He made this plea while taking part in a video conference the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and DoNER Minister G Kishan Reddy had with the Chief Ministers, Agriculture Ministers, Chief Secretaries and other senior officials of all eight North Eastern States on Tuesday.
The virtual conference was mainly focused on the growth of agriculture in the North East with special emphasis on sectors like horticulture, oil palm, organic farming and bamboo development.
Speaking at the conference, Khandu informed that Arunachal has 25 lakh hectares of cultivable area of which only 2.5 lakh hectares have been put to use. On slow coverage of oil palm cultivation in the State, he attributed it to the lack of commitment from the promoters in setting up of processing factories in Arunachal that had led to losing of confidence among the farmers.
He informed that an MoU with one of the promoters was cancelled and meetings called with the existing ones to fast track the mission.
Allaying the fear of impact of oil palm cultivation on forests in the State, the Chief Minister said it is unlikely to have any effect since the identified areas for the purpose cover only the wastelands.
He informed that a committee from the Central government has already identified an area of 1.33 lakh hectares of wasteland for oil palm cultivation. The Chief Minister further requested the Central government to increase oil palm coverage in the State to 15000 hectares in the first year of the Cabinet announcement of the National Mission on
Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP).
Speaking about the Organic Mission, Khandu informed that the State has launched its mission in 2016 with the completion target of 2023, covering an area of 1-lakh hectares.
He said the phase 1 and 2 of the mission are complete, and phase 3 is currently underway. He requested for an additional 5 years extension of the organic mission so that more people can be benefitted.