Secretary, I&C, Ladakh chairs UT Level Apex Committee meeting for promotion of Seabuckthorn
Seabuckthorn at centre stage of promotion in Ladakh
Jan 15, 2021
LEH: Secretary Industries & Commerce Department Ladakh, Saugat Biswas chaired the first meeting of the UT Level Apex Committee for development & promotion of Sea buckthorn in Ladakh.
The meeting was attended by Secretary Cooperatives Department Ladkah, Ravinder Kumar; Chief Conservator of Forest, Preet Pal Singh , Director DIHAR, Dr. O P Chaurasia, Moses Kunzang Director Industries & Commerce, Convener, UTLBC, Tsering Morup; Horticulture Development Officer, Leh, ARC Cooperative Leh, Kunzang Wangmo; Manager, Directorate of Industries and Commerce, DeachenYangdol and others.
The meeting started with a detailed presentation regarding Sea buckthorn production, analysis and present plantation cover and as on date statistics of harvesting, methods used for harvesting and products made by local entrepreneurs, till date.
The Horticulture Department was tasked to set up at least two farmer producer organisations (FPOs) of Sea buckthorn- one at Chushot and the other at Nubra, within one month in coordination with the Directorate of I&C, BDOs and District coordinator NRLM Leh.
These FPOs will benefit under the Central Govt. schemes like PMFME (Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises) & VDVK (Van Dhan Vikas Kendra).
Sea buckthorn has been selected as the product under One District One Product for Leh district under PMFME scheme and the UT Administration will put in focussed effort for the development and promotion of Sea buckthorn in Ladakh.
It was decided in the meeting that DIHAR will conduct a comprehensive survey to update the actual coverage of sea buckthorn plantation in Ladakh, so that realistic future interventions and plans could be formulated. DIHAR is also researching on the modern tools and machineries for improved harvesting of Sea buckthorn which will be recommended to the Administration.
Secretary Industries Biswas tasked the Directorate of industries and Commerce to prepare a list of entrepreneurs presently engaged in Sea buckthorn industry, the products produced by them and their investment, present capacity, whether they have been supported under any Govt. scheme or not, so that an analysis could be done to understand at what level the UT Administration could support their up-gradation and also to get year wise data to quantify the promotion of entrepreneurs over years by interventions of UT Administration in the Sea buckthorn Sector.
Threadbare discussion was also held in the meeting regarding development of model orchards in selected plantation area of Sea buckthorn and securing necessary permissions from the Forest Department. The Chief Conservator of Forest appraised that within the preview of presentation regulations necessary permissions required will be looked into.
The committee discussed the various means by which local demand for Seabuckthorn product can be augmented. This included local promotion of products in the government domain, the armed forces, the Khadi supply Chain, bodies such as TRIFED, NAFED etc
The committee deliberated on various issues like need for promotion of entrepreneurs in tetra packaging and other packaging techniques and end to end local production of Sea buck thorn products in Ladakh.
The committee observed that at the present stage the most important factor is the demand constraint, as majority of the Sea buckthorn, still remains un-harvested. The committee decided that promotion of demand needs to be done in parallel with development of micro processing units. The committee further observed that guaranteed quantity of supply of Sea-buckthorn needs to be there for attracting& meeting up the demand of big brands of the country.
Speaking on the product and Geographical Indication tagging, Biswas informed that filing for GI tag by Industries and Commerce Department, UT Ladakh, has be done.
It was appraised that the Department of Industries & Commerce in collaboration with the Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India is under the process of setting up an Agro-Processing Cluster, which will provide end-to-end processing facilities, such as pulping and packaging at a common place.