Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio flagging off the air cargo service at the Dimapur airport on Tuesday. – Photo: Bhadra Gogoi

Correspondent

DIMAPUR, March 2: A society can prosper if the farmers are rich, said Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

Inaugurating the air cargo service at the Dimapur airport today, Rio said that it was a long-felt need of the State.  He said that farm produce, especially perishable goods, should reach the cargo facility immediately so that the farmers get the maximum benefits.

The Chief Minister termed launching of the cargo service a historic occasion.

“I was heartbroken when I had visited a kiwi farm in the State. I found that all fruits were wasted as there was no buyer,” he stated.

Rio said that Nagaland is rich in biodiversity, and that the farmers of the State, especially the youth, can produce high-value organic vegetables, fruits, spices and exotic flowers.

He hoped that the farmers and entrepreneurs would take advantage of the air cargo service and not confine themselves to showcasing of their produce alone.

Stressing the need of maintaining a supply chain, Rio said all perishable and non-perishable produce should reach all the metro cities. He also called for converting fruits into juices and wine to draw the maximum benefits.

Urging the farmers to maintain quality, the Chief Minister asked the State Horticulture Department to help in post-harvest management. Rio also urged the farmers to sell their produce at market rates and not seek higher prices.

Adviser to Horticulture and Border Affairs Mhathung Yanthan said opening of the cargo service would have a cascading effect on the economy and the agri-horticultural products of the State.

Regional Executive Director, AAI, NE Region, M Suresh said that the cargo operation, which was approved on February 22, would have a special impact on the economy of Nagaland.