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Annual Report 2010-2011
Trade Promotion and Other Initiatives in The North-East Region (NER)

 

With a view to promote exports from the North Eastern Region, a North East Cell has been set up in the Department of Commerce. Consequent to the announcement made by the Prime Minister for the promotion of exports from the Region, an Export Development Fund (EDF) was set up with the objective of promoting exports from the Region. Activities which have a linkage with exports from the region are eligible for assistance from the Export Development Fund. An Empowered Committee considers and approves proposals under the EDF -NER. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) works as nodal agency which manages funds under the instructions of Department of Commerce. The last meeting of the Empowered Committee was held at Guwahati on 26.8.2010. So far 68 projects amounting to Rs.67.68 cr. have been sanctioned under EDF-NER.

In order to streamline the functioning and broadening the scope of EDF, Department has introduced a Screening Format for examination of project proposals under EDF and a Standard Operating Procedure has also been introduced.

Activities Eligible Under EDF-NER for Assistance

  • Setting up of pioneering/pilot projects aimed at exports
  • Provision of equipment and machinery for the pioneering pilot projects aimed at exports
  • Creation of common facilities for facilitating exports
  • Facility for testing and standardization as well as quality improvement of export products.
  • Funding related to the exchange of trade delegations
  • Any other activity as notified by the department of Commerce having a bearing on export promotion in the North-East.

Awareness workshops under EDF-NER

A Project-Export Awareness Workshop in NER was organized by the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) for creating awareness on scope and opportunities in the North Eastern Region (NER) for exports with an assistance of Rs.16.00 lakh.

FIEO to organize 8 export awareness (one in each state of NER) for creating awareness on scope and opportunities in NER for exports. So far six Export Awareness Workshops have already been organized by FIEO in all states of NER except for Sikkim for which dates are being finalized.

In pursuance of the decision of the Empowered Committee of EDF-NER, in its meeting held on 26.8.2010, it has also been decided to organize one day Monitoring and Mentoring Workshops in the each of the states of NER with an assistance of Rs.2.00 lakh per workshop to be organized by NERAMAC, NEHHDC, NEITCO, MISME, NEDFI and IIE. The following workshops have been held/being held:

  • Aizawl, Mizoram 19th November, 2010 organized by NERAMAC
  • Scheduled to be held in Shillong, Meghalaya by NEITCO
  • Scheduled to be held in Agartala, Tripura by ICC, Kolkata
  • Scheduled to be held in Gangtok, Sikkim by NEHHDC

Major projects approved under EDF- NER:

  1. 1. Project for Bee Keeping & Honey Processing in Nagaland by Atunakugha Ltd., Nagaland with an assistance of Rs. 120.00 lakh under EDF-NER has been approved. It envisages :

 

  • Establishment of 100 hives and training of a core contingent of 10 local Society members in the practice of beekeeping.
  • Introduction of 500 local people to beekeeping as means of providing personal income and reducing local poverty.
  • Improvement of local health standards through the use of bee products such as honey and propolis.
  • Processed Honey packaging.

2. Project for Bee Keeping & Honey processing in Nagaland by Shurho Piggery Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd. Nagaland with an assistance of Rs. 78.80 lakh has been approved to undertake:

  • Establishment of 100 hives and training of a core contingent of 10 local society members in the practice of beekeeping.
  • Introduction of 500 local people to beekeeping as means of providing personal income and reducing local poverty.
  • Improvement of local health standards through the use of bee products such as honey and propolis.
  • Processed honey packaging.

3. Project for 100% Export Oriented Watch Jewels Manufacturing Unit by Sikkim Jewels ltd. (A Govt. of Sikkim undertaking) with an assistance of Rs. 550.17 lakh has been approved with following objectives:

  • Setting up of equipment and machineries for export of watch 7 industrial jewels to European & South Asian markets.
  • Facilitation of opening of training wing for cluster nits of gems cutting, imitation jewellery making etc.
  • Supply of ‘middle range quality products’ to international markets.

 

4. Project for Stevia Extraction Plant at Mao, Manipur with an assistance of Rs. 177.99 lakh under EDF-NER has been approved. The project involves:

  • Primary and Post harvest processing of stevia leaves
  • Rapid production of stevia rebaudiana seeding amongst the villagers.
  • Promoting contract cultivation through villagers in the catchment areas.

5. Project for Food Testing Laboratory in Mizoram with an assistance of Rs. 308.00 lakh under EDF-NER has been approved for establishment of a Food Testing Laboratory at Aizawl to increase the export of food products, adhere to international Standards as per Good Hygiene Practice(GHP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

6. Participation (2 participants from each NER states) in 2nd International Summit for Packaging Industry with theme of “Packaging innovations and sustainability” in Mumbai during 1-2 Oct. 2010.

The participation is intended to create awareness among NER exporters about Packaging innovations and sustainability.

7. Project for Ready to Eat Energy Food Manufacturing Unit, Byrnihat, Meghalaya with an assistance of Rs. 67.83 lakh has been approved.

8. Project for Fruit Processing Unit by Bethelem Bells Food Products, EPIP, Byrnihat, Meghalaya with an assistance of Rs. 79.44 lakh has been approved.

The Inland Transport Assistance (ITA)

The ITA was formulated to bring down the heavy expenditure on transportation of goods with a view to boosting the export of fresh and processed horticulture products from the North Eastern Region. The ITA came into operation with effect from 15.07.2002. Executive Committee of EDF-NER in its meeting held on 15.04.2010 approved continued implementation of ITA for 11th Five Year Plan, that is, up-to 31.3.2012. The ITA is being implemented through APEDA. Inland Transport Assistance is available in respect of identified products to all North Eastern States. The rates of inland transport assistance provided are as follows:

  1. 90% of the air freight charged by the airline from any airport in the North Eastern States or Bagdogra to Guwahati or Kolkata for exports and in case of highly perishable commodities, 50% of the air freight charged by the airline from any airport in the North Eastern States to Delhi or Mumbai Airport for exports.
  2. Rs. 1 per Kg or actual freight paid whichever is less, if the goods are transported from anywhere in the NES by road for exports through any notified Land Customs Station in the North Eastern States or through Guwahati airport.
  3. Rs. 2 per kg or actual freight paid whichever is less, if the goods are transported from North Eastern States to Kolkata or any other port by rail through ICD, Guwahati for exports.
  4. Rs. 2 per kg or actual freight paid whichever is less, if the goods are transported from North Eastern States by rail through ICD, Guwahati to any place in West Bengal for processing and export.

Details of projects sanctioned under the central component of the ASIDE Scheme for development of LCSs in NER are indicated in Table 12.1.

Other Activities Undertaken in the North East Region

(I) Coffee Board

Coffee was introduced in Cachar District of Assam in 1953 and later cultivation of coffee was taken up on experimental basis and development of coffee plantation progressed. In NER, coffee is cultivated in 5,416 ha comprising of 4,035 ha. of Arabica and 1,381 ha of Robusta under 5,621 coffee holdings.

The general climate is mostly tropical and subtropical with distinct features experiencing long day, high rainfall, change in diurnal temperature etc. Though the rainfall spread in North Eastern Region (NER) was not a limiting factor for coffee cultivation, the low temperature in winter months do not help to improve the productivity. The coffee production in the entire NER continued to be low on account of various factors including non maintenance and low plant density.

Under the XIth Plan, the Board is extending financial support for expansion of acreage under coffee, consolidation and quality up-gradation activities in NER for up-liftment of tribal growers. Up to the end of December 2010, an area of 72.35 ha under expansion and 77.60 ha under consolidation has been achieved. It is programmed to raise coffee seedlings and shade tree saplings through group nurseries during 2010-11 for expansion of coffee cultivation and consolidation programmes for planting in 2011 which includes 200 ha coffee expansion programme undertaken by the Govt. of Mizoram under NLUP programme.

Under quality upgradation programme, 111 baby pulpers have been distributed among growers @ 90% subsidy and it is proposed to provide 416 nos. of Alluminium trays at 90% subsidy to the growers for the preparation of good quality coffee. Arrangements have been made to dispose off the cured coffee of 172 MT. in the Institute of Counselling and Transaction Analysis (ICTA) auction at Bangalore and released the payments to the growers.

Coffee Board continues to provide technical support to coffee growers for improving production and productivity. Coffee growers and local Agricultural/ Horticultural Officers are being trained in various aspects of coffee cultivation and maintenance of coffee fields. Under this programme a total of 48 Farm Training programmes were conducted for the benefit of 1,242 tribal growers of NER and also 13 Quality Awareness Programme have been conducted to benefit 236 tribal growers. Further, a reach out programme for coffee growers has been conducted during the month of November, 2010 at Kolasib (Mizoram) for the benefit of 21 coffee growers of NER through the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), Bangalore.

(II) Spices Board

Research Stations in NE region

  • At RRS, Agartala, clone RRIM 600 is the highest yielder in both on farm trials at Bagafa as well as Killamura in Tripura. However, Clone RRII 422 was the high yielder among RRII 400 series. 1024 hybrid seedlings were obtained from hand pollination programme.
  • Top soil in combination with cow dung is found to be suitable for root trainer potting media.
  • Incidence of Colletotrichum leaf disease was observed low (15-20%). Brown root disease (<5%) was reported from few places. Dormant phase of mooply beetle was observed for the first time, the nuisance pest in plants at Taranagar research farm.
  • Spices Board is implementing special programmes for production, development, research and export promotion of spices in the North Eastern Region. These programmes include replantation/ rejuvenation and new planting of cardamom (large) and pepper, organic cultivation of turmeric and ginger, construction of curing houses and rain water harvesting devices for cardamom (large), extension advisory service to the farmers, training to farmers, assistance for setting up primary processing facilities for spices etc.

(III) APEDA

Two Executive Committee-EDF–NER meetings were held during the year in which 31 old and new proposals were considered. An amount of Rs.53.23 lakhs has been disbursed. An amount of Rs. 3.53 lakhs was also spent on participation of NER entrepreneurs in the 2nd Packaging Summit organized by the Indian Institute of Packaging at Mumbai during 3-6 November, 2010.

(IV) Rubber Board

In the North Eastern region, rubber cultivation contributes to rural development and ecology restoration through imparting a culture of settled life to the tribal shifting cultivators (jhumias) by providing gainful employment. With a view to ensure that the NE region receives special attention in the various rubber developmental programmes. A separate scheme exclusively for the NE region is being implemented from the XI Plan onwards. The XI Plan scheme for ‘Rubber Development in NE Region’ is a comprehensive scheme with components for Rubber Plantation Development (RPD) (Table 12.2), Rubber Research, Processing, Quality Upgradation, Productivity Enhancement and Human Resource Development. Some of the programmes envisaged under this scheme are specially designed to address the various infirmities of the NE region with due consideration to the target community, the vast majority of which are tribes.

(V) Minerals and Metal Trading Corporation (MMTC)

An office has been set up in Guwahati (Assam) to promote business in North-Eastern States.

(VI) State Trading Corporation (STC)

STC has a Branch office at Kolkata which is engaged in international and domestic trading from West Bengal and other north eastern states of the country. STC’s Kolkata branch has been regularly supplying pulses and tea to Defence Departments in the North-Eastern Region. During the current financial year, it has already supplied pulses, tea, etc. worth over Rs. 65 crore to Defence Departments.

During 2010-11, the Kolkata branch has imported over 789 MTs of bitumen pitch for one of its clients. Efforts are being made for supply of imported bitumen pitch to north-eastern state PWDs and public and private agencies in road construction industry.

The branch has supplied imported sugar to various clients in the North-Eastern Region. It is also trying to supply imported edible oils and pulses to various north-eastern states for distribution under PDS.

The branch has also obtained samples of spices from the Meghalaya State Agricultural Marketing Board, Shillong for promoting/marketing their produce both in domestic and international market. During April-November, 2010, STC, Kolkata has achieved a turnover of Rs.1,134 crore.

 

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