NEW DELHI, June 19 � Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju on Thursday pushed a proposal for setting up at least six agriculture universities in the North East along with a few research centres at an estimated cost of over Rs 700 crore.
The proposal was submitted by Rijiju to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh at a meeting held at the Krishi Bhavan here yesterday.
Later talking to newsmen, Rijiju said that the six agriculture universities are estimated to cost Rs 700 to Rs 800 crore. The proposal also involves setting up of research centres to boost agriculture production in the North East. The agricultural practice in the plains and hills are different and research centres could focus in these areas.
�If the Centre starts the project now it will be completed in five years. A special package should be given to start these projects,� he said.
Rijiju further said that there was a need to develop the infrastructure facilities of the existing agriculture universities in the North East.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Ministry will look into the special requirements of agricultural education and research in the Northeastern States, the Union Agriculture Minister has assured Rijiju. The latter also gave a memorandum highlighting the requirements of the Northeastern region in the area of agricultural education and research.
The Agriculture Minister has directed ICAR to look at the feasibility of opening more agricultural and veterinary colleges and universities in all the eight States of the region. New institutions will be opened keeping in view the needs of local farmers and also on matters which have high potential in this region.
There is already a Central Agriculture University (CAU) at Imphal, and it is being felt that the CAU needs to be strengthened and new university and colleges need to be opened in different States to cater to veterinary, horticulture, food processing and other specialised areas, the Minister said.