A promising collaboration between Tata Trusts and the ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) is set to reshape the spice industry in Northeast India. With a focus on enhancing the cultivation and distribution of ginger and turmeric, this partnership aims to drive sustainable agricultural development in places like Nagaland’s Kiphire district and across the broader Northeastern region.

As reported by the Hindu Business Line, the joint project will focus on Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram in the NEH region for transforming ginger and turmeric value chain.

Reportedly, a detailed baseline study has already been conducted in project locations including Kamrup (Assam), Kiphire (Nagaland), and Aizwal (Mizoram). Field visits, farmer survey, market study and soil sample analysis were conducted as part of the study aimed at understanding the constraints and designing intervention strategies suited for the region.

IISR, in close collaboration with Tata Trusts’ associate organizations – the Centre for Microfinance and Livelihood (CML) and the North East Initiative Development Agency – is spearheading the implementation of the program. According to R. Dinesh, Director of IISR, the project holds immense potential to bridge technological gaps and empower the NEH region for spice cultivation.

Chitore Guha Sarkar, Head of Agriculture Development at Tata Trusts said the collaborative effort is expected to generate significant spread effects through farmer-to-farmer knowledge dissemination and capacity building.

Recognizing the need for modernization in ginger and turmeric cultivation practices, it was reported that the project not only aims to introduce improved varieties but also focuses on identifying critical crop management components for improving productivity. Furthermore, the information from the baseline study will be used to develop location specific packages of practices for ginger and turmeric. The project also envisages master training programs, front line demonstrations and farmer training for capacity building.

Tata Trusts’ engagement in the Northeastern states extends beyond spice cultivation through their associate organizations along with the help of their associate organization North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA) and like-minded partners such as NABARD. Initiatives such as community-based ecotourism projects in Dzüleke village were also initiated in Nagaland in 2014 for the local community to reap the economic benefits of tourism.

In Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, the Trusts have also extended support for household piggery enterprises to flourish.

Mokokchung Times

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