CII to organise North East Agri Expo in Nagaland
New Delhi, Mar 25: With the Centre aiming at a 4 per cent growth rate for the farm sector and efforts underway to speed up the second Green Revolution, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising the 'North East Agri Expo' at Dimapur in Nagaland on March 27, 2006.
Union Minister for Food and Agriculture Sharad Pawar will inaugurate the Expo in the presence of Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio while and Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kantilal Bhuria, will also attend the inauguration.
According to experts, growth of the farm sector is central to India's double-digit growth plans. Expert opinion states that to build sustainable competitiveness in this sector, stakeholders in the sphere need to adopt modern agricultural practices, promote agri-marketing on a much wider scale, bring in private capital, and step up crop diversification.
The Expo is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, and is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region as well as the Ministry of Rural Development with the Government of Nagaland acting as the host. It is positioned to generate investor and stakeholder interest in the latent agri potentials of the largely untapped North-Eastern markets.
The Expo, spread over five days up to March 31, 2006, will also highlight the innovative agri equipment, technologies and services developed in the North-Eastern states. More importantly, the event will be an occasion for players in the farm sector to explore opportunities for contract farming, sourcing, processing, value addition, distribution and marketing. Private players could also identify bankable agricultural, horticulture, and agri processing projects in the region.
''The North East Agri Expo seeks to highlight the region's natural and human resources to the industrial community. It brings all stakeholders onto a single platform to address growth and development needs of the agriculture sector in the North East. Most importantly, it brings together the governments of the eight different states, each having their particular attractions. With the support of policy makers, the industry sees a vibrant opportunity for itself in the region,'' CII President Y C Deveshwar said.
Infrastructural bottlenecks have been the bane for the region. The Expo will provide private players a glimpse of the opportunities that lie in the area of agri infrastructure development, such as, building world-class cold chains and pack-houses. The Expo will focus on the potentials of high-value horticultural crops, such as, floriculture (orchid, lilium, anthurium, rose), spices (ginger, large cardamom, pepper, turmeric); fruits (passion fruit, pineapple, khasi mandarin, kiwi fruit), and medicinal and aromatic plants; bamboo, rubber and other plantation crops; agricultural products (aromatic rice, pulses, cereal, tubers); sericulture; animal husbandry; dairy and fisheries; food processing, organic cultivation, and agro&food processing technologies, equipment&services.
From the food processing technologies perspective, the Expo will showcase agri inputs especially bio-inputs, and technologies, equipment, processes and services available to private sector and agri institutions in the areas of production, harvesting, post-harvest technologies, value addition, packaging, and distribution.
Among other key events, the Expo will have an Investors' Meet to focus on 'Commercialisation and Market Linkages for North East Agro Products'. The event will also feature interesting developments and areas like agri clinics, agri films, technology and process demonstrations for NER, marketing of products through IT enabled services, live demonstration of futures and commodity trading, and finances and credit meets.
''The North East Agri Expo comes at a time when the agricultural sector in India is gaining vitality,'' CII Agriculture Council Chairman Dhruv M Sawhney said.
CII's Agriculture Council has established five committees to handle the issues of agricultural and rural infrastructure, inputs and farm practices, food processing, crop development, and livestock development. These committees are focussing on the creation of a facilitating policy environment and are building vital networks to promote the growth of the agribusiness sector in all regions of India, with special emphasis on the North East.