The Union Agriculture Minister Shri Sharad Pawar, who arrived yesterday afternoon in Aizawl on his maiden visit to the state addressed press persons of Aizawl at the Chief Minister's Conference Room at 6 PM in the evening. In the press meet, Chief Minister Shri. Lal Thanhawla, Agriculture Minister Shri. H. Liansailova, Chief Secretary Shri Vanhela Pachuau and other senior state government officials also present.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Pawar expressed happiness that the process of development has started in a big way under the able leadership of the Chief Minister. He stated that the Government has taken steps to revive Indian agriculture and resolve food security and that the second Green Revolution  would include the eastern states such Bihar, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh among others and the North Eastern states. Shri Pawar pointed that food stock position is comfortable but added that the problem of storage persists.

Speaking about the Government of Mizoram's flagship programme -  New Land Use Policy (NLUP), he said it is a novel approach to bring an end to the wasteful jhum cultivation which gives reduced production and productivity. He added that the state government's approach is a correct one and since the state on its own cannot implement the programme, the Central Governement provided support to help implement the programme.

The Union Agriculture Minister announced financial assistance for under different agriculture, horticulture, diary and fishery programmes. He announced provision of Rs. 12 crore for Wet Rice Cultivation during the current financial year and assistance of Rs. 40 crores for horticulture under the Horticulture Mission for the North East and Himalayan states, in addition of Rs. 2.5 crores for improving the Post Harvest Management of horticulture produce. He said Mizoram will be included under the Oil Palm Initiative launched this year and promised to provide an assistance of Rs. 15 crores during the current financial year for this purpose. Under the National Bamboo Mission, he said a tentative allocation of Rs. 17.5 crores will be made during 2011 - 12.

Talking about the need to improve the production of rice in Mizoram, he said he would send experts from the Central Government to study the rice cultivation in the potential areas of Chamdur and Phura in south Mizoram.

 Under the National Mission for Protein Supplements he announced earmarking of Rs. 5 crores during 2011 - 12 to improve piggery in the state and added that Rs. 10 crores can be released for various fisheries development projects.  He promised setting up of a horticulture college in the state with special faculty on food processing.  This was followed by an interactive session with the press.


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