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Agri-Horti show extended by a day

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 13 � In view of the growing footfall in the ongoing second Assam International Agri-Horticultural Show at the Veterinary College playground, Khanapara, the event has been extended by one more day. The show which was scheduled to end on February 14 will now conclude on February 15.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was among those who visited the venue today. He interacted with a number of delegates and stall-owners and took stock of the the arrangements made by the Agriculture Department. Agriculture Minister Rockybul Hussain and some dignitaries were also present.

Speaking to the media, Gogoi said that Assam was no longer a state producing just rice, pulses and vegetable. "The fertility of the land in the region and developments in the agri-horti sector have aided the production of those crops which were earlier imported from different parts of the country and abroad," he said.

The Chief Minister added that just exhibitions and fairs would not be sufficient to promote agricultural produce and benefit the farmers. "The Government will now lay more focus on marketing of the local produce, so that it reaches the consumers smoothly and the farmers also earn proper revenue out of the same," he said.

The Department of Agriculture today confirmed that a footfall of over 1.5 lakh has been registered within the three days of the show. It has also arranged for numerous training sessions for indigenous farmers and allied groups to boost the agri-horti scenario in the region. A daily approximate of 1,000-1,500 farmers have been attending the training sessions and seminars.

The highlight of the fourth day was a workshop on Ikebana, the Japanese art of floral arrangement, conducted by Ohryu Rekha Reddy, a first Master of Ohara Ikebana and president of the Ikebana International, Hyderabad Chapter, who has already organized several Ikebana demonstrations both in India and abroad.

She is also credited with authoring an art book of Ikebana with MF Hussain's paintings. The aim of the workshop was to sensitize and create interest among local women entrepreneurs and florists who wish to add value to their floriculture business. Around 150 women entrepreneurs turned up for the workshop.

Besides, the show hosted a series of training sessions on advanced farming system for indigenous farmers. The topics of the three training sessions were �Integrated Farming System� delivered by Dr. Girin Hazarika, Director of Research, AAU, and Dr. Arunima Deb Choudhury, State Consultant, NFSM. Another session on 'Water Conservation' was delivered by Dr RK Thakuria, Chief Scientist, Water Management, AAU, and the third session on 'Mechanization' was conducted by Dr Pankaj Bora, Scientist, AAU, Jorhat.

The department also organized a host of seminars for farmers from various districts of Assam where lectures were delivered by eminent spokespersons from the agri-horti sector.

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