Marketing conclave for Garo Hills farmers, entrepreneurs held at Ampati

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Tura, Sept 21: Multitudes of farmers and entrepreneurs from all over Garo Hills on 21st last gathered at the Marketing Conclave held at Ampati Multi Facility Centre near here. The Conclave, an initiative of the Meghalaya Basin Management Agency (MBMA) and organized by the Basin Development Unit (BDU), Ampati, aimed at creating awareness on marketing of agricultural products and value addition.

The objective of the conclave was to help farmers including entrepreneurs understand the concept of commodity market dynamics and thereby enable them to significantly enhance the value of their produces through branding and other creditable practices.

Resource persons for the conclave included Rajesh Patidar, Vice President, Agriwatch, New Delhi, Biplab Sarma, Commodity Analyst, Agriwatch, New Delhi and Dr Abhigyan Bhattacharjee, Associate Professor, NEHU amongst others.

During the conclave a panel discussions on market infrastructure besides marketing of agri products and value addition was held followed by a presentation on agriculture markets in Garo Hills. Commodity trading on spices was also addressed during the gathering.

Other than farmers participants during the conclave included representatives from the GHADC, DCIC, Horticulture department, North East Green Tech Private Limited, APEDA, Organic Majuli, Mission Organic and the Forestry departments.

Addressing the gathering during the inaugural session, South West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner and Chairman, IBDLP, Cyril Darlong Diengdoh said that the district administration was always looking out for opportunities for farmers in terms of creating more profitable markets. He said that the state being primarily an agrarian society it was imperative to understand our natural capital and resources. He opined that as the indigenous farmers of the region only practiced organic farming they could brand their products as organic and increase their value significantly.

Speaking further on value addition the Deputy Commissioner said that the products of the region like cashew, black pepper, pineapples etc were already on high demand and therefore it was only up to the farmers to realize the best value of their produces. Stating that the region had huge potential for agro based tourism Diengdoh urged Self Help Groups to engage in small but high value based products.

Also speaking on the occasion, Director MBDA & MBMA, Daniel Ingty urged the farmers to come together and join hands in promoting their produces to secure more profitable marketing prospects. We need to recognize our strengths in organic agriculture and market it, Ingty said and added that farmers needed to target identified products such as black pepper, arecanut etc and brand it for significant returns in the market.

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