Pawar for food security in the North East

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said his ministry was keen to ensure food security in the North East to improve the quality of life of its farming community and assured adequate funds.

Last Updated: Oct 02, 2010, 00:41 AM IST

Guwahati: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad
Pawar today said his ministry was keen to ensure food security
in the North East to improve the quality of life of its
farming community and assured adequate funds.

The North East could act as a catalyst towards ushering
in a second green revolution in the country, Pawar said at the
two-day conference `Agriculture: Strategies, Policies and
Practices for North East`.

"The North East is endowed with enormous potential in
the agri-horti and other allied sectors. These have to be
tapped to the optimum level to step up production in a big
way to ensure food security.

"We have taken the initiative in consultation with the
state governments of the region to make tailor-made plans to
suit specific requirements of each state, keeping in view the
distinct physiography, topography, climatic and soil
conditions of each state in the region," he said.

An additional Rs 300 crore had been allotted for the
creation of rural godowns in every state of the NE.

"Funds are no constraints. What we want is proper
utilisation of funds and timely submission of utilization
certificates," he said.

The union ministry would give filip to the cultivation
and preservation of high-value aromatic and medicinal plants
and wide variety of orchids available in the North East for
both domestic and international markets.

It has given much emphasis on improving marketing
infrastructure in the region and has earmarked Rs 380 crore
for the purpose.

The ministry, he said, would meet every six months to
assess the agriculture scenario in the region, initiate
corrective steps and to step up production in a big way.

Pawar underscored the need to wean away the farming
community in the hills from traditional jhum cultivation and
persuade them to adopt practices that cause no harm to the
soil and environment.

-PTI