Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) funded Biotech Infrastructure Facility (BIF) at ICAR-National Research Centre on Mithun (ICAR-NRCM), Jharnapani, Medziphema, Nagaland on 18th April, 2016. Mithun is a unique large semi-domesticated animal of the bovine family, endemic to the North-eastern States of India. The Minister remarked that as Mithun touches every Naga household economically, socially and emotionally, it could not only become the symbol of the Naga people but also exemplify India’s unity in diversity by strengthening the bondage between different communities.Dr. Harsh Vardhan acknowledged that ICAR-NRCM is the only institute of its kind in the world solely dedicated to the conservation, propagation and development of Mithun which itself is geographically limited to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. The ICAR-NRCM farm has established modern scientific facilities for the rearing of Mithun under a semi-intensive system that comprises of various farmer-friendly technologies developed by the institute namely feed block, mineral block, area specific mineral mixture and low-cost feed formulation using industrial by-products.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, expressing strong conviction said that this BIF facility will prove beneficial for young researchers of the North-eastern region. During the interaction with scientific staff of the institute he emphasized at working on research projects that are beneficial for farmers and implementable at the grass-root level. He was all praises for the “Rasgulla” that was made from the Mithun milk and said that Nagaland could become world famous if its production is taken on a larger scale.The Minister also visited the DBT-funded Citrus Processing Plant of ICAR-Regional Centre for North Eastern Region. He opined that the facility could be proved beneficial for food processing viz. Citrus fruits, pine apple and others such fruits and will also encourage the young entrepreneurs of the region to adopt the food processing technology for commercial purposes.