SatpaljiMaharajvisits NRC for Orchids in Pakyong

Gangtok, 04 Sept [IPR]:

Minister for Tourism, Irrigation, India-Nepal River Development Project, Government of Uttarakhand, SatpaljiMaharaj, along with nine other officials from the Government of Uttarakhand visited the National Research Centre for Orchids atPakyong in East Sikkim today.

MrMaharaj and other officials were welcomed by Principal Scientist of NRC, Pakyong, Dr LC De, Sub Divisional Magistrate,Pakyong,TenzingDenzongpa, and other officials of the centre.

During the visit, the Minister and his team examined the different processes of Orchid farming, species house, orchid herbarium and experimental farming of orchid in NRC premises.

Later, a PowerPoint presentation was shown where facts, figures and other aspects of orchid cultivation were discussed in detail. He also discussed issues related to techniques of orchid farming and how to help farmers to take up commercial orchid growing skills and implement it.

MrMaharaj stated that the climatic conditions, topography of both Sikkim and Uttarakhand are quite similar and Sikkim is emerging as one of the most advanced orchid growing States in the country.

“More and more people are getting attracted to this cash crop and thus this culture of orchid farming needs to be implemented in Uttarakhand as well. The income of farmers will also go up by producing orchids along with other kinds of mixed farming and value addition in orchid farming can increase income generation,” he added.

He applauded the organic movement initiated byChief Minister PawanChamling in making Sikkim the first organic State in the country. He further added that being a small Himalayan state, Sikkim has set examples in various fields and the policies implemented towards environmental protection needs to be emulated by the rest of the States as well.

MrMaharajstrongly advocated “Green Bonus” for Sikkim and other hill States of India. He said that Sikkim has been in the forefront in conserving environment and Green Bonus will give further impetus.

Talking about the mode of connectivity in hilly regions, MrMaharaj pitched for a network of ropeways across the state and said that this would benefit mode of communication and boost tourism as well. He said that Sikkim is one of the cleanest States and other States of the country have a lot to learn from it.

Earlier, Principal Scientist, Dr De, briefed about the various tools and techniques adopted by NRC laboratory in producing orchid seed and tissue culture for the purpose of orchid growing.

After Pakyong,MrMaharaj reached Martam and inaugurated Lingtam as the cleanest village in order to promote rural tourism. MLA Martam, Mechung Bhutia, showed organic fields and explained the process of organic farming and how the State has banned the use of harmful chemicals. He also inspected the Gram Vikas Kendra at Martam and met his devotees there.

The team will be making a series of field visits in South and West districts of Sikkim like DharaVikassite at Damthang, organic field visits, homestay visits, tourist attraction places,etc during their stay in Sikkim over the next few days.

MrMaharaj and his team are on a study tour to Sikkim to learn about the implementation of organic agriculture and village tourism.