Tariq Anwar (second from right) takes a look at the products at Plandu on Wednesday. (Prashant Mitra)
Union minister of state for agriculture and food processing Tariq Anwar on Wednesday inaugurated a hostel for farmers to offer accommodation for trainees of an Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) centre in Plandu on the outskirts of Ranchi.
Horticulture and Agro-forestry Research Programme (HARP), a centre of ICAR in Plandu, 15km from the capital, on NH-33 annually trains 30,000 farmers of the region in farming and horticulture.
In the absence of a proper hostel, they had to be lodged at rooms or halls of the centre. Now, with the setting up of Subernarekha Krishak Bhavan — built at an investment of Rs 1.19 crore — the farmers have a fixed place for lodging.
During the launch, Anwar asked scientists to educate farmers on new methods of farming and develop agricultural technique that involves minimal use of water.
He also urged the private sector to come forward and invest in food processing so that seasonal crops which go waste could be used meaningfully.
“Farmers require cold storage to store agricultural products. These could be set up by the state at all such places wherever they are required. If required, the Centre is willing to give funds for such projects,” Anwar told a group of farmers who discussed multi-cropping and horticulture.
Anwar added that large amount of seasonal agriculture products go waste in the absence of proper food processing units in the region. Often, the farmers have to make distress sale of their products as market prices dip when production surges.
“Such wastage could be minimised and farmers too will be able to fetch reasonable prices for their agricultural products,” Anwar said.
The function was attended by Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani, state agriculture secretary Arun Kumar Singh, regional director of ICAR B.P. Bhatt, HARP director Shivendra Kumar and Indian Institute for Natural Resin and Gums (IINRG) R. Ramani.
Earlier, Anwar inaugurated a kishan mela on the premises of IINRG in Namkum on the city’s outskirts.
Hundreds of farmers including those involved in lac cultivation were present at the kishan mela.