From our correspondent
Itagar, May 9: Aruchal Pradesh Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi today stressed on making agriculture glamorous, dignified and popular in the state.Negi accompanied by Trade and Commerce Commissioner Hage Bath, Tourism Secretary Joram Beda, Art and culture secretary Dani Sulu and a host of officials visited Maj Rubber Nursery and Plantation, owned by Aruchal Pradesh State Rubber Board (APSRB) chairman Likha Maj at Tarajuli in Assam-Aruchal border to take stock of progress of the plantation spread across an area of 300 hectares.Terming farming as a lucrative avocation, Negi said that people never pay respect to such venture but run behind white coloured job.Advocating for conducting mapping of all the foothill areas of the state to develop rubber cultivation to wean away the practice of shifting cultivation he said and advocated for mooting a magement plan with assistance from Rubber Board of India (RBI) for popularizing rubber plantation in the state.
“We need to develop a magement system for small and big rubber growers in the state with all technical support from the RBI,” he pointed out and assures to prepare a master plan for rubber cultivation in the state.While calling for popularizing rubber cultivation in schools, Negi said that rubber would not only provide money but would also give due respect to the farmers to lead a descent and prestigious life.He urged the RBI to set up rubber nurseries in the state and assured to rope in fund from various agencies like NEC, DoNER and BARD.Bath while dwelling on the Chief Minister Mission mode programme on tea and rubber launched in the state during 2012-13, informed that the government during 2014-15 has earmarked an amount of three crore for tea and another five crore for rubber cultivation under the programme.He said during 2012-13, an amount of five crore including two crore for rubber was sanctioned where assistance were provided to 485 tea farmers and 237 rubber growers in the state.“During 2013-14 the state government has released 5 crore for tea and 10 crore for rubber cultivation against which 464 small tea growers and 954 rubber planters were benefited,” Bath disclosed and advocated for giving priority on plantation crops which would provide lucrative returns in short time.He said, the state government focus had been shifted to cluster approach in providing assistance for rubber plantation in the state.Former Deputy production commissioner of RBI P C Goswami through a power point presentation informed that an area of one lakh hectares have been identified in Aruchal Pradesh for rubber plantation.He also suggested the farmers to choose rubber plantation only in those areas which are not above 450 meters of height from sea level.“Rubber could be cultivated in foothill areas and other low lying areas,” he added.Earlier, Maj giving an insight on his plantation and nursery which was started in 2013 informed that his nursery supply on an average of 5 lakh saplings annually at subsidized rates. During 2014 he had distributed 30,000 saplings free of cost to the farmers, he added. Maj also extended his gratitude to Chief Minister bam Tuki for his inspiration and RBI for providing all technical support in establishing his rubber garden and nursery.