Gangtok, January 3: The Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department organised two days training programme for Progressive Farmers under Vegetable Initiative for Urban Cluster (RKVY) at the SAMETI Hall, Tadong near ICAR. Under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Vegetable Initiative for Urban Cluster will be launched in major urban centres for implementation of vegetable initiative.
It was learned that this year, Government of India has earmarked a sum of Rs 350 lakhs for vegetable initiatives for Sikkim, for which Gangtok and Namchi has been chosen. As per this programme, vegetable seeds of seasonal, off seasonal, Rabi and Kharif will also be provided. A total of fifty progressive farmers of East Sikkim District are participating in this training programme.
Minister for Agriculture and Horticulture, D.N. Takarpa in his inaugural address mentioned that Vegetable Initiatives for Urban Cluster is a National programme. Till date, the state has been focusing vegetable initiatives in rural areas and under this programme urban areas like Gangtok and Namchi will be benefitted. Sikkim is fortunate to be endowed with a variety of climatic zones which has the potential of growing wide range of horticultural crops. Therefore, interest has to be cultivated amongst the farmers in enhancing production so that the demand of the state is mitigated from the state itself, he added. The Minister also stated that this programme will fulfil both demands and supply in vegetable sectors and increase income for the farmers as well.
The Secretary Agriculture and Horticulture, Vishal Chauhan in his address informed that Vegetable Initiatives for Urban Cluster is designed by Government of India to increase vegetable production and productivity and marketing of produce through farmers’ groups. The scheme will be implemented in two towns of the state with focus on cluster vegetable production and income for the farmers and assured supply to consumers. He also emphasized on the formulation of Farmers Interest Group so that it will be easier to provide training and marketing also.
While presenting the welcome address, Principal Director Horticulture, D.K. Rai appraised that there are 95 Farmers Producers Organisation in East and 75 Farmers Producers Organisation in South District out of which 1020 farmers in East and 750 in South will be selected. Under this programme, a baseline survey has also been done by the Indian Gramin Service and NELSON Org for 700 hectares of land in East district and 300 hectares in South Sikkim Distt.
The inaugural programme will was followed by the technical session whereby the Resource Persons from Indian Gramin Service and officials facilitated on package and practices of Kharif vegetable, nursery management and pest and disease control.
Second day will be a practical one where the participants will be familarised with tools and equipments, nursery bed preparartion and seedling raising technique atTadong Bamboo Nursery.