Most respected Chief Guest, Shri Nikhil Kumar, His Excellency, the Governor of Nagaland, His Excellency Dr. Phet Phompiphak, Vice-Minister, Lao DPR, Mr. Paul Strauss, Senator, Washington, USA, Dr. Chumben Murry, the Hon’ble Minister, Agriculture, my esteemed Cabinet colleagues, Hon’ble Parliamentary Secretaries, Advisors and Chairmen of PSUs, the Hon’ble MLAs, the Chief Secretary, the Agri-Production Commissioner, the Senior Government Officials, invitees and delegates (who are) in our midst, dear Farmer friends participating in the Expo, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am indeed deeply honored to take the Chair at the inaugural ceremony of the 3rd N.E. Agri-Expo at Dimapur today. It was following the successful conduct of the 1st and 2nd N.E Agri-Expo in 2006 and 2010 at this very site, which opened up opportunities for meaningful interface and knowledge sharing amongst the Farmers of the Sister states of the region, that had led my Government to hold the 3rd N.E Agri-Expo from the 15th to the 17th of November, 2012. I therefore extend to you all a very warm welcome to this unique conclave of Farmers and Entrepreneurs from the N.E. Sister states and other parts of the country.
The 3rd N.E. Agri-Expo, 2012, a National Seminar-cum- Scientist Interaction, as in the past years is a mega event organized by the Government of Nagaland with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, DoNER /NEC and is being held under the theme: “Progressive Agriculture”.
It has Farmer delegations from all the 8 North Eastern states along with National and International participants from both private and public sectors. While the main objective of the Agri-Expo is to showcase the potentials of agriculture and allied sectors in the N.E. states and to develop strategies to achieve self sufficiency, manage marketable surplus and promote knowledge-sharing and technology transfer, it also aims at strengthening bilateral cooperation. All in all, we hope to introduce new technologies and practices which would improve agriculture.
It is seen that there is a perceptible increase in awareness amongst the farmers of the region of the dynamics of free market economy both within and outside the country. We are also encouraged to note that on the recommendations of the Market Summit, the farmers of the region have benefited by adopting improved inputs and post harvest management and also established efficient market linkages. It is hoped that this will ultimately bring better returns to the farmers and help them cross over from subsistence farming to commercial scale farming, thus drawing closer to the Vision 2025- Food For All with surplus in food productivity in the N.E. region.
I also wish to make a mention of some of the most positive outcome of the 2nd N.E. Expo; we had more than 3000 farmers including women, NGO’s & Entrepreneurs participants in the Farmers-Scientist Interactive Sessions, the Market Summits, Exhibition-cum-Sales at Rural Bazaar, Ethnic Huts, Industries & Commerce, KVIC & NIDC Stalls, including the Sericulture & Thematic areas reporting good sales. I am happy to say that my Government accomplished the main objective of catalyzing Private and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the entire value chain of farming enterprise and in identifying business opportunities through this platform for buyers and sellers.
We are aware that there is room for improvement and are taking serious note of areas such as placing more advertisements to give wider coverage for the benefit of participants and visitors in order to meet the higher expectations in future events. Alongside, we also need to understand that the actual impact in terms of success in trade and business ventures is an aspect which cannot be gauged by the public sectors immediately. Its real outcome can only be measured through the benefits accruing to the entrepreneurs and farmers in due course of time. Much therefore, will depend on the hard work you will need to put in over the years.
Some of the interesting highlights of the 3 (three) days Expo are as follows:
- a National Seminar-cum-Farmers Scientist Interaction on the theme “Progressive Agriculture” organized by the Government of Nagaland in collaboration with ICAR, CIH and SASRD, NU;
- a Poster Session entitled “Success Stories on Agricultural Technologies” carrying Awards for the best poster presenters;
- a Special Session on “Buyers Sellers Meet”, where the buyers from different parts of NE as well as from outside the region will interact with the growers and farmers organizations of the region;
- a 3 (three) Session National Seminar and Farmers Scientist Interaction, on the sub themes: “Climate Resilient Agriculture”, “ITKS and Farmers Variety” and “A business meet on Supply Chain and Market Linkage in NER”;
- a 3 (three) Session Farmers Scientist Interaction, on the sub themes: “Resilient Agriculture in the Context of Climate Change”, “Horticulture for Nutritional and Income Security” and “Animal Husbandry Economic up-liftment of Farmers”; and
- Finally the wrap up session of the seminar to take place on the 17th.
We are so very fortunate indeed to have in our midst today, His Excellency, Dr. Phet Phompiphak, Vice-Minister, Lao DPR, Mr. Paul Strauss, Senator, Washington, USA and a galaxy of eminent personalities, subject matter experts and business persons from across the country ready to share and interact with the agricultural stakeholders of the region. I, therefore urge upon the state Government officials and especially from those of the Agri and allied sector departments and the farmers from the different parts of the region including the delegates from the 11 (eleven) districts of our state to actively participate and benefit from the knowledge and experience sharing Sessions.
This mega event has been organised with the generous contributions from 13 service sectors including Ministries of Government of India for which we are all thankful to them. The hard work put in by the state Government departments with various committees and support extended by tribal and private organisations is highly commendable and congratulations are due to them all for their tireless efforts.
As you may be aware, we have named the official mascot of the Agri-Expo as ‘Chaka’ with the logo being the Mithun (Bos Frontalis) which is the official symbol of the State. The expo also coincides with the recent culmination of the Youth Expo-cum-Tribal Festival organized by the State Government. The North east, as we all know is a rich fusion of cultures with their special music and folk dances which has been our heritage from time immemorial. Side by side, to make the event a wholesome one, we have different talents being showcased through the initiatives of the Music Task Force, the Departments of Tourism, Art & Culture, NEZCC and many Entrepreneurs who will be offering us local, ethnic, continental and fast food in the food courts for all to enjoy as we participate in the 3 (three) days Expo.
In closing, it is my earnest desire that through this 3rd Agri Expo, we will be successful in promoting progressive agricultural development through showcasing agricultural and allied products which in turn will promote trade and investment opportunities for the N.E. states. Let us progress in oneness with the bountiful gifts Mother Nature has bestowed on the North Eastern states.
God Bless and Thank you all.