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Nagaland seeks Centre’s help to create more agriculture infrastructure

DIMAPUR: The Nagaland Government on Tuesday sought the Centre’s help in creating more agriculture infrastructure in the State through grants-in-aid.

Highlighting the agricultural activities in the State at a video conference with Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, Nagaland Planning and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Neiba Kronu said the progress of the Agriculture Infrastructural Fund (AIF) in the State has not been on expected line as the lending institutions have been shying away from financing the farmers and entrepreneurs due to issues of collateral securities.

He said under the umbrella of Nagaland State Agriculture Marketing Board (NSAMB), market channels have been opened for the export of local products to the metro cities under the brand name “Naturally Nagaland”.

For the first time Naga King chilli was exported to London on July 29, he stated.

Kronu added that other Agri products of the State such as bamboo shoots, pineapple, kiwi, cardamom, ginger, sweet and juicy cucumber, tree tomatoes are in the pipeline for export. However, the State’s farmers are facing challenges of the huge cost of transportation both inside and outside the State, he said.

Kronu said the Naga coffee is the first agricultural product of the State that has been exported to the international market for the last few years. So far, coffee has been planted in about 10,000 hectares of land and the State is targeting to cover 30,000 hectares under coffee cultivation, he stated. Besides, he said, rubber is one of the commercial crops exported to other states.

On Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, Kronu said as of August 31, a total of Rs 265.52 crore have been transferred to the accounts of 2,00,082 farmers in the State.

An amount of Rs 223.54 crore has been given to 35,959 Kissan Credit Card beneficiaries in the State by the banks till June 30.

Kronu added that the State Government is planning oil palm cultivation in 15,000 hectares of wastelands.

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