January 28, 2010 Sikkim
Maize Mela was organized by Zonal Project Director Zone III, Directorate of Maize Research and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi in collaboration with Food Security and Agriculture Development Department, Government of Sikkim on 28th January 2010 at Indoor Stadium, Namchi, South Sikkim. The Agriculture is the mainstay of majority rural populance of Sikkim. The economy of the state, that linked with agriculture, serves as the source of livelihood and economic security of sizeable native population. Since paddy is the traditional food crop of the Sikkim followed by maize, the purpose of the Mela was to educate and equip the farmers with the latest-technologies and skill for better production of maize and promptly demonstrate the latest varieties of maize to the farmers with a view to reduce the time gap between technology generation and its adoption.
The Mela was inaugurated by Shri Dawcho Lepcha, Minister for Food Security and Agriculture Development, Horticulture and Irrigation, Government of Sikkim and the Chief Guest of the honour was Dr K.D. Kokate, Deputy Director-General (Agricultural Extension), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi. Dr. Sain Dass, Director, Directorate of Maize Research, New Delhi and Dr V. Venkatasubramanian, Zonal Project Director, Zone III and Assistant Director-General (Agricultural Extension), ICAR, New Delhi were present during the Mela. Shri S.K. Sinha, Principal Director Agriculture, Govt. of Sikkim Shri S.K. Gautam, Secretary, Food Security and Agriculture Development Department, Govt. of Sikkim and other senior officers of Government of Sikkim have attended the Mela. Around 800 farmers and maize growers participated in the Mela.
In his inaugural address Dr Kokate, has welcomed the Chief Guest and emphasized the importance of extension programme by the Krishi Vigyan Kendras which are the knowledge centres for our farming community at the grassroot-level and to cater the location-specific technological need of the people. The activities of research and extension by the KVKs have resulted in building capacity of farmers for income and assuring the food security in Sikkim. Dr. Sain Dass, appreciated the initiatives of Government of Sikkim and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for promoting and expanding the cultivation of “Quality Protein Maize” in the state. Dr Dass said that there is a immense scope for Hybrid Quality Protein Maize that can visualise the upcoming market and agro processing and post-harvest processing facilities in the state.
During the Mela, the Directorate of Information and Publications on Agriculture (DIPA) and Directorate of Maize Research, New Delhi have put up the stalls of Publications, Information literature, e-products on Maize. Various products on maize were also displayed for the benefits of the Farmers, Scientists, Extension Workers and other visitors. The farmers have shown the immense interest in the displayed products. An interactive session of farming community and the Scientists was also conducted. Dr Sangeet Kumar, Principal Scientist (Plant Pathology) and Dr P. Kumar, Principal Scientist (Entomology) answered the questions and problem faced by the maize-growers of the state.
Dr Venkatasubramanian, thanked the Government of Sikkim for organising the one-day Maize Mela and has assured that the Council will support and provide all the necessary input by providing QPM seeds to the farmers through Krishi Vigyan Kendras and also providing the technological know-how in development of Seed Farm of Maize for generating income and employment in the State.
(Source :Business Unit/DIPA)