GANGTOK, February 16: Having bagged the first prize in the Northeast Regional Horticulture Show held in Guwahati from February 10-14, this year, the State Horticulture and Cash Crops Development Department has added one more blossom to its bountiful harvest.
The State had earlier bagged the first prize for best stall in International Flora Expo 2007 held in Delhi during September last year, which seems to have set the stage for a spree of wins.
The Horticulture Department had showcased the horticulture advancement of the State through display of exotic Cymbidiums in blooms, cut flowers of rose and Anthurium and many more other enchanting flowers in addition to other horticultural produce like fruits, vegetables and spices. The overall display was conceived with the idea of projecting Sikkim as an emerging floriculture and organic State.
As informed in a press release, the contingent of horticulture department was led by the Advisor, Horticulture TP Pradhan with two officers as members. The Minister for Agriculture & Horticulture, Somnath Poudyal was present as a special invitee on the closing ceremony of the event on February 14, which also had the presence of Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Rural Development and Minister of Public Health Engineering, Government of Assam. The Governor of Assam, Lt. General (Retd) Mr. Ajay Singh graced the occasion as the chief guest.
Speaking as special guest of the function in Guwahati, Mr Poudyal highlighted the various the Horticultural activities being carried out in Sikkim. Emphasizing on the importance of market and its significance, he urged all the Northeastern States to come together under one banner. In his address, he also stressed on Organic Farming, as an important avenue for value addition particularly in the smaller States of the North-Eastern Region. He added that Floriculture is one sector which is already showing promising signs of success in the region.
Apprising the audience about the forthcoming International Florishow 2008 to be held in Sikkim from March, 14 to 16, this year, he extended invitation to the Minister of Agriculture, Government of Assam and all others to attend the same.
In his address, the Assam Governor urged the Northeastern States to create a common marketing platform similar to that of the European Union. He also congratulated the Government of Sikkim for being adjudged the best and extended his best wishes and regards to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Sikkim.
The Director, Cane and Bamboo Technology Center, (CBTC), Guwahati Kamesh Salam invited the Minister of Agriculture. However, on the invitation, Mr Poudyal visited the CBTC on February 14, which has a good museum of bamboo products from many countries and a training center. Mr. Salam briefed the Minister about the activities of the CBTC and the National Bamboo Mission on a PowerPoint slide show. They also discussed at length on the future prospects of bamboo in Sikkim.
Mr. Salam also suggested that Sikkim still has room for development in the bamboo handicrafts sector. “This activity can be allocated to Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts (DHH), for which the responsibility on the Transfer of Bamboo Technology through Skill Development should also be allocated to the DHH,” he said. Panchayats, Self-Help Groups, and the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) should be mobilized under Cooperatives for the production of bamboo handicrafts, he added.
While stating that Sikkim had good prospects of becoming a bamboo handicraft hub for West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Chhatisgarh for demonstration as well as training programmes under the National Bamboo Mission, Mr Salam opined that a Bamboo Bazaar show-room could be established in Gangtok, and that the CBTC is more than willing to assist its establishment. Bamboo Consultant for Horticulture Department, PP Poudyal was present accompanying the Minister.