GUWAHATI, Sept 2 - With an aim to make high quality and disease-free planting material of different citrus crops available easily, a Centre of Excellence (Citrus), established by the Department of Horticulture & Food Processing, was inaugurated at Bamunigaon at Boko on Wednesday.
Additional Chief Secretary and Agricultural Production Commissioner Kamal Kant Mittal was the chief guest on the occasion.
The inauguration programme was also organised to coincide with the first 100 days of the State Government.
In his speech, Mittal appealed to the farming community to extend their cooperation towards various departmental programmes and reap the manifold benefits offered to them by the Government machinery.
Amlan Baruah, Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam (Agriculture Department), was the guest of honour at the event.
A farmers� training programme on citrus crops was also held.
The Centre of Excellence (Citrus) will be dedicated to production of citrus fruits, such as mandarin and lemon by using modern farming techniques.
Post-harvest handling of citrus crops will also be demonstrated at the Centre of Excellence (Citrus).
The centre will also undertake training and capacity building programmes for citrus growers, departmental personnel and nursery personnel and operate as a repository of citrus trees of different types. The centre is spread over 11.8 hectares of land.
Citrus crops occupy an important place in the horticultural map of Assam. Such crops cover an area of 30,200 hectares with a total production of 3,23,400 MT.
The State produces about 3.2 per cent of the national production of citrus crops. The important citrus crops include Khasi mandarin and Assam lemon.
However, the productivity of citrus crops has been declining in many parts of Assam due to increased incidence of citrus diseases. The Centre of Excellence (Citrus) has been established in order to overcome the problem and make available disease-free planting material.