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Agriculture Ministry selects Goalpara for banana cultivation

Guwahati, April 17: The Ministry of Agriculture under its Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using Goeinformatics (Chaman) project has completed the mapping of eight districts identified for development of one horticulture crop each. The Chaman report stated that the districts were selected for suitability of certain horticulture crops and mapping will help expand the area of the crop in that district, utilising wasteland for horticulture leading to increased farmer income.
The site suitability analysis was carried out in abandoned jhum areas for introduction and expansion of important horticulture crops like  bananas in Goalpara district, oranges in Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh, pineapples in Senapati, Manipur, turmeric in Jaintia hills of Meghalaya, grapes in Champai district of Mizoram, pineapples in Dimapur of Nagaland, cardamom in West Sikkim and bananas in West Tripura district.
Banana is commercially cultivated in Goalpara district. The physiographic, climatic and socio-economic conditions of Goalpara are most suitable for banana cultivation but it is still under-utilised or unutilised. Potential sites for its cultivation were identified using geo-spatial techniques and areas were designated as highly, moderately marginally suitable and not suitable. A potential area of nearly 25,000 hectares was marked.
Assam is a leading producer of banana and accounts for 2.4 per cent of its total production in the country. The reports of the Chaman project, initiated under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, were discussed at a meeting here on April 12.
Chaman was started in September 2014 for a more scientific database of horticulture information using remote sensing, GIS and collateral field data. The field survey was coordinated by Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute and remote-sensing coordinated by the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre. The study was done in collaboration with Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, North East Space Applications Centre, State Remote Sensing Application Centre and state departments of horticulture in the Northeast states.
S K Pattanayaka, Agriculture Secretary and Dinesh Kumar, Joint Secretary ( MIDH ) of Government of India participated in the meeting. After that they visited Integrated Cold Chain Project at Tetelia and discussed the various issues with the owner of the project. Then they visited Vijaya Nursery at Khetri and discussed with Anubha Singh, Horticulture Entrepreneur. They also interacted with the farmers of different Farmers Producers Companies  at Amlighat. During their two day visit, they observed the tea plantation with the black pepper at Hatkhuli Tea Estate, Kaziranga on April 13 and met various farmers in  Nagaon, who posses Soil Health Card, stated a press release.