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“Training Programme for the farmers of Karbi Anglong, Assam was organized by ICAR-NBPGR on “Plant Genetic Resources of Karbi Anglong: Conservation and Utilization for Enhancing Rural Income” under North Eastern Hill SubPlan at AAU-Zonal Research Station, Diphu, Assam on 29.01.2024. The programme was sponsored by the ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources and organized at AAU-Zonal Research Station, Diphu. At the outset of the training programme, Dr. K. Dayamoy Singha, Chief Scientist, AAU-Zonal Research Station, Diphu welcome the farmers from different areas/blocks of Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts (Raja Pathar, Patradisha, Langsoliet, Deopani and Arnam Teplong).

In his address, he has highlighted the importance of conservation and utilization of indigenous crops of Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts. He also highlighted the biodiversity of indigenous crops in this area which is rich in nutritional and medicinal values. In the training programme Dr. S. K. Malik, Principal Scientist and Nodal Officer, NEH SubPlan explained to the farmers about the importance of the indigenous crop diversity, conservation needs and sustainable utilization. The rich and unique plant genetic wealth of this area needs to be taken care urgently. He also apprised the farmers to join hands together in growing traditional crops and to explore demand of these commodities in the national and international market for enhancing income through agri-products which are unique to this area. Need for value addition and establishment of sustainable market value chains was also discussed for better delivery of the agri-products of this area to consumers. The importance of indigenous food systems and use of traditional crops to ensure nutritional security and health of children and women was also highlighted. The invited guest Dr. Mahabishnu Tokbi expressed the importance of conservation of different indigenous crops and also informed about its different medicinal properties which are beneficial for good health. He further emphasized that people of Karbi Anglong are very lucky to live with high level of crop biodiversity which is used in daily food items and helps to keep good health of people. Mr. O. P. Dhariwal, Sr. Technical Officer apprised the farmers about the activities and mandate of ICAR-NBPGR for the conservation and use of local biodiversity. The scientists from AAU-ZRS, Diphu namely Dr. (Mrs) M. Maibangsa, Pr. Scientist (Econ), Dr. (Mrs) M. Gogoi, Scientist (Soil) and Mrs. Taposhree Das, Technical Officer also actively participated in the training programme.

Besides the experts progressive farmers of this area also expressed their views on conservation status of indigenous crops and their local uses. They expressed need of support to develop market value chain for popularizing and marketing of indigenous crops to earn sufficient livelihood from the local products. Four FPC’s namely Dhansiri Horti-Agro, Dhamsiri Valley Agri-Farm Cooperative Society, KURPHO and AGRANI Seed Firm were actively participated in this training programme and shared their experiences. Useful farm implements and plants were distributed to the 120 farmers during this event. The training was ended with vote of thanks from Dr. (Mrs) Neethi Baruah, Scientist (Pl. Path). (Source-Dr. SK Malik, ICAR-NBPGR).

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