As most of the crops in the fields could not survive the drying up of agricultural lands in the valley area caused by scanty rainfall received this year, farmers in Manipur fear they may not be able to harvest about 70 per cent of the paddy planted amounting to about 20 pari. In view of it, farmers of Nongchup Sanjenbam, Sekmai AC have urged the concerned authorities to look into the matter.
A tenant farmer, Ranjit, speaking to the Imphal Freee Press reporter said that almost all the paddy fields of Nongchup Sanjenbam of Sekmai AC have dried since the starting of the cultivation.
There was good rainfall during pre-monsoon period but was scanty during monsoon season thus resulting in the shortage of required amount of water for sufficient irrigation of the paddy fields, the farmer said.
Owing to shortage of rainfall during the cultivation time and lack of proper irrigation system affected the growth of the paddy and now, there is nothing left to harvest, he lamented.
There was no water supply through the irrigation canal this year due to lack of water at the Singda irrigation canal, he said, adding that water scarcity during cultivation season affected all crops. This year, not a single tenant farmer will be able harvest enough paddy, he said.
Raising their grievances, Kh Sunita Devi, secretary of the Meira Paibi (Local women group) of the area, Sanjenbam Apunba Meira Paibi Lup (SAMPAL), said they informed the sub-divisional agriculture officer (SDAO) of Sekmai on October 7 that they could not harvest 70 per cent of paddy at Nongchup Sanjenbam. They appealed to the authorities concerned to look into the matter. But they received no response and no action has been taken up by the authorities concerned to address their plight, she added.
Following it, the Meira Paibi urged all paddy land owners of the area to go to the field and cooperate with the tenant farmers. The tenant farmers of the paddy fields appealed to all the owners of the field not to claim their share of their paddy this year.
This year, several farmers across the state reported drying up of paddy lands during the plantation of crops, while some villagers in hill areas reported destruction of their paddy fields by unusual flood-like situation.
As farmers struggled to cope with the devastation of their crops and paddy fields, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday (October 31) appealed to farmers of Manipur to use their paddy fields for growing vegetables after the harvesting of rice and not let the fields lie fallow after the harvesting season.
Biren made the appeal to the farmers during the distribution-cum-demonstration programme of farm machineries and implements under the Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) which was organised by the Department of Agriculture at the City Convention Hall, Imphal Monday.
Biren said agricultural mechanization will not only enhance overall productivity but provide assistance to farmers in increasing crop yields as well as farmers' income and subsequently improve the economy of the state.
Biren assured of setting up a special sub-committee comprising Agriculture, IFCD, Horticulture, Minor Irrigation and others to look into the issue of lack of irrigation water during the dry season faced by the farmers in the state.
The chief minister also said a ‘Toll Free Number’ will be introduced to facilitate farmers who are willing to utilise their paddy fields after the rice harvesting season. Using the toll-free number, farmers can seek assistance or raise issues related with agriculture, he said.
Biren assured that the government will ensure agricultural requirements of the farmers, including seeds and water.