Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry inaugurated the orientation programme for establishment of Spice Farmers Producer Companies (SFPCs) and a buyer-seller meet organized by Spices Board in Itanagar to highlight the promotion of spices and herbs being grown in the hill State of Arunachal Pradesh and integrate the farmers of the State with markets in India and abroad.
Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India, Wangki Lowang, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Trade & Commerce and Tamiyo Taga, Minister of Power, Industries, Textiles & Handicraft, Government of Arunachal Pradesh also participated in the programme.
“As part of Government of India Look East to Act East policy, North East region is given priority and actions are being initiated in the region for development. There is scope for export of spices like large cardamom, ginger, turmeric etc., which area produced naturally organic in Arunachal Pradesh. In order to aggregate the farmers’ produce, Spice Farmers Producer Companies shall be formed” said Sitharaman.
She further added that Spices Board, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDONER), North Eastern Council (NEC) and Government of Arunachal Pradesh are to work together for materializing the establishment of SFPCs. The first SFPC in the country will be established in the State of Arunachal Pradesh.
It was declared by the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry that a team of Officers, Spice Farmers and Spice Processors will visit the Spices Park set up by the Spices Board at Guntur so that they can learn how to establish common infrastructure facilities viz, warehousing, primary processing, value addition etc., for large cardamom, ginger and turmeric with private buyers and investors.
She urged the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh for submitting proposal to the Central Government for consideration under ‘Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme(TIES)’ by adopting PPP approach. On certification, Smt. Sitharaman clarified that authentic organic certification is required to be done to market the produce. Umbrella certification will be promoted for grower groups for reducing the cost of organic certification.
In his Presidential Address, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India appreciated and congratulated Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry for having taken such an initiative for the development of this region. He also requested the Hon’ble Commerce and Industry Minister for establishing Border Haat along the border of Myanmar in Arunachal Pradesh similar to Nathu La Border in Sikkim.
Dr A. Jayathilak, Chairman, Spices Board informed that the Board has been trying to aggregate the small and marginal farmers at village in Arunachal Pradesh and other north-eastern States and is encouraging farmers to adopt spice cultivation and processing as an agribusiness activity by initiating the formation of entities like SFPCs and establishing links with the buyers and exporters.
The SFPCs would aim at aggregation of the farmers in the identified spices growing districts to establish direct market linkages with exporters, processors and institutional buyers through buyer-seller meets, while aiding the farming community in better price realization consorted and scientific post-harvest management, primary processing, value addition, packaging and direct marketing. The SFPCs will also facilitate participation of cultivators of spices in national and international trade fairs.
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