Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a Rs 4 crore state-of-the-art orchidarium and orchid production unit at Upper Shillong near here. The orchidarium, which is the first in Meghalaya, will be funded by the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development(IBSD).
Conrad told the gathering that the orchidarium that the orchidarium is an important milestone for the state and is in line with the governments Make in Meghalaya initiative. The orchidarium would be the game changer for the tourism sector as tourists across the world are seen to be found of orchids. "Meghalaya being a diverse state there is a need to explore other business potentials. There are around 800 species of orchids available in the State, yet we tend to import them from other countries," he said.
IBSD director Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo said the northeast region has more than 850 species of orchids but there are not many high tech state-of-the-art orchidaria and orchid production units. IBSD, he said, will set up orchid production units in different states of the region and train a large number of unemployed youth, women and farmers to develop orchid-based bio-entrepreneurship in the region.
Sahoo also requested Sangma to provide assistance to several bioresource-based programmes and value addition activities of IBSD to ensure that people benefit. The construction of the orchidarium is expected to be completed by February 2019, he said adding that orchid production units will be set up in at least 10 different locations across the state. In the first phase at least 700 entrepreneurs are expected to benefit from the transfer of technology in orchid rearing, he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)