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Shillong, May 10, 2022: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Tuesday said that the Government has started extraction of curcumin from turmeric, the first in the entire Northeast. He said that the process of extraction is ‘indigenous’ and in the near future better technology will be introduced, which has global acceptability.

“Government will get the best standard equipment and ensure that the product from Meghalaya finds its market globally,” the Chief Minister said at Lakadong Festival, which is being held for the first time at Laskein in West Jaintia Hills district.

As part of the Lakadong Mission, the Chief Minister handed over turmeric washer and polisher machines to four Lakadong Farming Societies identified by the Meghalaya Farmers’ (Empowerment) Commission. He also inaugurated the Collective Marketing Centres at Thadmuthlong, Shangpung and Laskein Mowtyrshiah under the Lakadong Mission.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by MLA, Mookaiaw, Nurjorki Sungoh, Commissioner & Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and K N Kumar, Chairman, Meghalaya Farmers Empowerment Commission, amongst other officials from the department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare.

Speaking to the gathering of Lakadong turmeric farmers of the district, Chief Minister said the Lakadong Festival is a culmination of a journey which started four years ago when concerns were being expressed about the difficulties faced by the Lakadong turmeric farmers.

“It was then that we decided that we must go in a mission mode in order to push the production as well as value addition of Lakadong turmeric,” he said.

He also added that departments work in silos without coordination among one another and officers and departments work on a scheme based process which is why the outcome or the output is not as desired.

“The target should be to increase the income of the farmers by increasing productivity of the farmers by providing them training and capacity building,” he added.

He further said that in the last few years the government has endeavoured to shift the goal of the department to a much broader goal which is the farmers’ welfare by increasing production and thereby increasing income.

“Therefore, we realized that the Lakadong turmeric requires a mission mode approach and focusing on the entire value chain that starts with giving the seeds to the farmers, training them of how to take care of the product, helping them in processing, packaging and marketing. It is all these steps that matter for the farmer and the government’s job is to ensure that we see the entire spectrum and help the farmer,” said the Chief Minister.

He further said that when Meghalaya celebrates its diamond jubilee, the State should be in the list of top 10 states in the entire country in terms of its GSDP. “We have a plan and a strategy for achieving our targets and we will work collectively to ensure that we achieve our goals in ensuring that our people reap its benefits,” he added.

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for people in Meghalaya and the sector contributes 22 percent of GSDP.

He also expressed happiness that the State has its own curcumin content testing unit. “There was a time when the curcumin content had to be measured in Kolkata would take ten days but today we did it in ten minutes out here,” he said.  He further said that the government would take the curcumin testing further by ensuring better technology and standards which will be acceptable globally.

The Chief Minister also said that the programme will be replicated throughout the state for other food products. “Programmes like this have potential for Agro Tourism and that is also one of the purposes of having this festival and why we call it the Lakadong Festival and not just a Lakadong conference is because we feel that we need to celebrate this product that we have been blessed with and should be proud of so therefore it’s something we must celebrate and ensure that we are able to take this forward,” he said.

Initiatives : Agriculture

Launch of “Restart Meghalaya Mission’ on 15th August 2020

The Mission comprise of a series of interventions to support farmers and entrepreneurs by enabling them to build growth-promoting basic infrastructure and services. Under this Mission, 1917iTEAMS – the IT Platform aimed at enabling farmers access to agricultural information, crop advisories and markets will be expanded logistically through induction of another 100 vehicles.

Creation of the Directorate of Food Processing on May 2018

With the objective of seizing opportunities in the sector and the untapped food processing potential of the state for uplifting the livelihoods of farmers and value chain actors, the Government of Meghalaya created the Directorate of Food Processing (DFP) as a one-stop agency to handle all matters relating to food processing in the state and to deal with all central government Ministries and Agencies (viz. Ministries of Agriculture, and Food Processing, SFAC, NCDC, NABARD, etc.) in all matters pertaining to the development of agricultural food processing sector.

First Ever Farmer’s Parliament held on 4th - 5th December 2018

The parliament was organised by the state department of agriculture in collaboration with Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) and the Hill Farmers' Union (HFU). As a step toward the promotion of new technologies, HFU with the support of Meghalaya government, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence App for farmers — called Nongrep (nongrep in Khasi language means farmer) with its software partner Impetus Solutions from Hyderabad — as a social innovation project. This app will address matters of farm aggregations, soil health and disease identification, crop yield, farm produce pickups, market linkage and retail sellers app.

Launch of the Farmer’s Portal on 7th May 2018

The Meghalaya Famers’ Portal (www.megfarmers.gov.in) of the Department of Agriculture is a platform for farmers to seek any information related to agriculture. Detailed information on farmers’ insurance, agricultural storage, crops, extension activities, seeds, pesticides, farm machineries, etc. is provided. Details of fertilizers, market prices, package and practices, programmes, welfare schemes are also given.

Awards & Recognitions
  • Meghalaya has been selected for the Commendation award in 'Total foodgrains Category-III' for 2017-18. The award consists of a citation and an amount of Rs. 1 crore.
  • Meghalaya Agriculture Department and the MIE Meghalaya Team won the '7th eNabling North East (eNorth East) Award 2019-20' in the 'Agriculture & Rural Development' category for 1917 iTEAMS project which is a project in collaboration with Digital India.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded Meghalaya on May 2018 the Krishi Commendation Award for the year 2015-16, in recognition of the commendable foodgrains production achieved by the State.
  • Meghalaya has been adjudged the Most Improved Small State in the category of Agriculture and received the India Today – "The State of the States” Award on 23rd November 2018.