6th October, 2021, Sikkim
“The Lab-to-Land Programmes should be encouraged to enable the State of Sikkim for emerging as an Organic Destination for the tourists and consumers”, said Shri Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare. Shri Choudhary was on his visit to the ICAR-National Research Centre for Orchids, Pakyong, Sikkim today.
The Minister apprised the participants about the significant increase in the efforts of the Central Government for improving the socio-economic conditions of the farmers, especially, small and marginal farmers through the various Schemes like Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, 1.5 times increment in MSP and Formation of 10,000 FPOs throughout the country.
Shri Choudhary encouraged the farmers for utilizing the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund to take-up the value-addition activities in agriculture. While visiting the laboratories and farms of the Centre, he also interacted with the farmers on the various aspects of Orchid Cultivation ranging from production to marketing.
The Minister also launched two Mobile Apps - “Orchid Pest Management” developed for farmers to assist management of pests of orchids and “OrchidMAN” to assist the orchid collectors in recording the passport data during the collection of orchids on the occasion.
Shri Loknath Sharma, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Sikkim urged the ICAR Institutes to work in collaboration with the State Departments. He also encouraged the farmers to participate in the State Government Mission on “SWANIRBHAR SIKKIM” in agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry.
Shri Indra Hang Subba, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Sikkim applauded the Central Government’s efforts in improving the livelihood of farmers of Sikkim.
In his address, Dr. Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticulture Science), ICAR highlighted the importance of the expansion of Orchid Cultivation to boost the production and improve the quality to capture the international floriculture market and reduce the import.
Shri Bishnu Khatiwara, M.L.A., Rhenock Constituency and Shri Y.T. Lepcha, M.L.A., Gangtok Constituency were also present during the occasion.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Dr. Ram Pal, Director, ICAR-NRC for Orchids outlined the Centre’s achievements made during the last five Years.
(Source: ICAR-National Research Centre for Orchids, Sikkim)