Shillong, October 17: A one day ‘Focus Group Workshop’ on 1917-iTEAMS (Integrated Technology Enabled Agri-Management System) was organized by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Meghalaya at the Integrated Agriculture Training Centre (IATC), Upper Shillong on Tuesday where state Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma attended as the Chief Guest. Also present on the occasion were Commissioner and Secretary, Agriculture Department, P Sampath Kumar, Joint Secretary, Agriculture Department, B Mawlong, officials of various line Departments, farmers and entrepreneurs among others.
Addressing the officials and participants at the inaugural session of the workshop, Sangma stated that the workshop provides an ideal forum for integration of ideas amongst stakeholders. He also added that in a technology driven era, there is a need to ensure that available technology is leveraged upon for ensuring that farmers get access to necessary information so that farming becomes more remunerative.
Highlighting on the fact how food security and nutrition security revolve around farming and farmers, Sangma said “There is a need to empower and skill farmers, and to create a comprehensive support system to them”. He also stated that there is also a need to design farming in such a manner as to attract the young generation towards farming activities. “The government is creating an enabling environment to boost the sector” he added and called upon the people to participate with the government in order to make agriculture more attractive, productive and remunerative.
It may be mentioned that iTEAMS is a new initiative of the government to enable and facilitate access to remunerative and sustainable markets for farmers’ produce through the implementation and operation of a logistics and extension facilitation service, which would help provide remunerative returns to farmers.