GUWAHATI, Oct 20 - To address the communication bottleneck of the region, the North Eastern Council (NEC) today said it is focusing more on promoting high-value agricultural products for niche markets.
�Given the prohibitive transportation cost in the North East, we cannot compete everywhere. The region must find niche markets and should concentrate on high-value products,� NEC secretary Ram Muivah told this news agency on the sidelines of a two-day conference on agriculture-horticulture entrepreneurship in the region.
The NE region has two important advantages � climate and rainfall � over other places in the country, he added.
�Considering these aspects, the NEC is focusing more on promoting such agricultural products giving higher returns and are aimed at niche markets. Some such products include kiwi fruit, stevia and lemon grass,� Muivah said.
The NEC is currently encouraging farmers to produce large cardamom and kiwi fruit in Arunachal Pradesh, lemon grass and stevia in Manipur and tea in Tripura and Sikkim, he added.
The NEC chief further said that the organisation is also helping entrepreneurs in areas like milk production by murrah buffalo in both Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and fishery, dairy and honey bee output in Nagaland.
Asked about the funding to farmers, Muivah said: �We are giving grants between Rs 3 crore and Rs 12 crore to each State in the North East for agriculture and horticulture sector.� The funding pattern consists of 90 per cent assistance from the NEC, while 10 per cent is funded by the State government. � PTI