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Agriculture fair begins at Umiam

Shillong, Feb. 27: In an attempt to help farmers market their products, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) at Umiam has scheduled a three-day North East Zone Regional Agri-Fair from tomorrow at the complex.

“The main aim behind organising the fair is to apprise the farming community and other stakeholders in agriculture and allied sectors about various technologies developed by different universities, institutes, NGOs for the improvement of bio-diversity and its conservation,” said an official statement from ICAR.

The theme of the fair is Biodiversity Conservation and Entrepreneurship Development.

The director of the complex, S.V. Ngachan, said by conducting the fair, the ICAR wanted to provide a platform for the promotion of biological diversity, encourage sharing of knowledge among stakeholders, give current facts, latest trends in entrepreneurship development and also exploit the potential of micro-enterprises and small scale industries.

“Agri-fairs like this provide a forum to develop personal contacts and direct relationships with potential clients. A face-to-face interaction is also possible where immediate feedback is received on the products displayed,” he said. “The fair would also help in the sale of products and facilitate networking,” he said.

“Protecting agro-biodiversity and farmers’ right is a thrust area in biodiversity hotspots like the Northeast. Farmers, who are the main conservators of the forest, should be well-aware of the value of biodiversity and the role they can play,” he said.

According to ICAR, the entrepreneurs need to be briefed about potential of high value germ plasm of the Northeast so that they can explore possibilities of commercialisation.

“This important aspect of agriculture will be discussed at length in the fair,” the director said.

The main participants of the event would include farmers, NGOs and entrepreneurs. Products to be displayed at the fair include herbal and medicinal plants, organic products, recipe based on local indigenous agricultural produce, spices and condiments, processed products, replicas of sustainable farming systems, technical knowhow of the research institutes and printed publications and production technologies for high-value crops.

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