LUCKNOW, Oct 5 - The Assam pavilion put up at the Mega Science, Technology and Industry Expo here by the Directorate of Horticulture and Food Processing saw heavy footfall with inquisitive students, young researchers and even a few senior cops of the Uttar Pradesh Police trying to find out what the hottest chilly is like.
The Mega Science, Technology and Industry Expo was inaugurated by Science and Technology and Environment and Forest Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan at the Railway Ground here this afternoon.
Officials manning the Assam pavilion said that it is the hottest chilly and that it is also used to produce hand grenades, which is very much in active use with encouraging results.
Assistant Director Madan Mohan Deuri Bharali said that they have brought several new varieties of horticulture products, including a paste of �bhoot jolokia�, yet unnamed being produced by a local entrepreneur. He also pointed towards packets of cashew nuts being produced in Goalpara district, which is now exported outside the State.
Deuri Bharali said that horticulture growth rate in Assam has contributed towards growth of agriculture in Assam. During 2014-2015, the growth rate of horticulture in the State has increased to 7.6 per cent. Moreover, due to initiatives of the State government the horticulture crop area has increased by almost 100 per cent, while production increased by 95 per cent and productivity by 77 per cent. Moreover, a tissue culture laboratory has been set up in Silchar in private sector, Deuri Bharali added.
He said a Vision Document 2016-2025 has been brought out, which among other issues proposes to declare agar business in Assam as an industry. A separate branch of agar cultivation will be set up in Forest Department, he added. Whoever is engaged in agar export will have to obtain licenses from the government and a yearly assessment shall have to be submitted to the government in order to ensure accountability of the business.
Nearby, a young innovator Bhaskar Barman displayed his innovations to a young crowd of science students. His home security system, automatic light bulbs and five-level car security have attracted huge interest. A protege of the Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC), Barman has so far managed to commercially exploit the car security system, about which he does not like to divulge much as he has a contract with a private company which is marketing his innovation. His smart helmet too has attracted interest among the people. The device when attached to a helmet would not allow the ignition to start unless the biker puts on the helmet.