March 2, 2024

Sitharaman advocates ‘spice revolution’ through farmers’ exposure tour 

TAP | Updated: April 26, 2017

Haats on Myanmar border to be operational, assures Rijiju

ITANAGAR, Apr 26: Union Minister Nirmala of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry Sitharaman has advocated exposure visit of farmers to gain knowledge in spices cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh.
Inaugurating the orientation programme to operationalise the Spices Farmers’ Producer Companies (SFPCs) and Buyer-Seller Meet at Banquet Hall here on Wednesday, Sitharaman advised the state government to arrange a tour for farmers to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh to acquire knowledge in spices farming.
The minister said the important venture would guide the farmers towards better marketing avenues. She urged the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium to expedite the process of opening the SFPCs.
Sitharaman urged the state government to appoint aggregators who would collect these spices from different locations. She also advised creation of common infrastructure for a group of farmers in one area which would enable storage, processing and value-addition of their produces.
She requested the state government to hold a review meeting every month with regard to industries. “Failure results in the delay of submitting documents required for the necessary clearance of funds,” she said.
“Arunachal Pradesh is a naturally organic state for spices cultivation and SFPCs are the need of the hour,” she said, underlining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on development of the north-eastern states.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, in his deliberation, assured that border haats of local produces in the districts adjoining the India-Myanmar border would come up in the near future.
Rijiju regretted the state’s inability to produce commercially despite primarily being an agro-based economy. He attributed the problem to the lack of initiation and a proper plan on the part of both the state and Central governments.
He also urged the people to be more economy-driven, pointing out that the government can only facilitate and enable.
State industries minister Tamiyo Taga urged the farmers to make the most of the meet and appealed the Union commerce and industry ministry for keeping provision of fencing in the scheme to benefit the farmers.
Agriculture Minister Wangki Lowang urged the Spices Board of India to look into the needs of spice growers of the state, saying unemployment problem in the state could be minimized that through spices cultivation.
Spices Board, under the Commerce and Industry Ministry, is setting up the SFPCs on a pilot basis to help small and marginal farmers in Arunachal Pradesh get better prices for their produce through post-harvest management, primary processing,
 value addition, packing, aggregation and organic certification.
SFPCs would help address the challenges faced by the agriculture sector with regard to mechanization, technology transfer and adoption of collective scientific cultivation, in addition to providing improved access to inputs and markets.
It would also encourage the farmers to increase the productivity of the spice crops and to adopt cultivation and processing as an agribusiness entity.
Each SFPC will have 500 farmers as members in a sub-division or district.
The farmers will be identified on cluster basis in a village and district by forming Farmer Interest Group (FIG), each consisting of 20 farmers. Twenty-five such FIGs will be formed to establish a SFPC. (With DIPR inputs)