Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday appealed to farmers of the state for a gradual shift towards organic farming from chemical fertilisers for a healthier society.
He was addressing farmers of the State and officials of Agriculture Department as the chief guest of the Farmers’ Meet cum Interaction Programme at City Convention Centre on Wednesday.
The chief minister also said that a Farmers’ Cell should be set up by the department on the lines of “CM da haisi” with toll-free phone numbers, where a dedicated set of officials and staff will receive grievances from the farmers and act to resolve them. He said this cell will help in narrowing the gap between the officials and the farmers.
Explaining the importance of the Agriculture sector, N Biren Singh said that the Prime Minister’s special focus on the agriculture sector is to become self-reliant.
Hinting that there was a lack of transparency, coordination, and communication among the departments, the chief minister stressed that government departments are all correlated and require coordination among them. He said that a joint effort of the Agriculture, Forest, Minor Irrigation, CADA, Horticulture, Veterinary departments is necessary to develop agriculture in the State and to look into the grievances highlighted by the farmers.
He also cited a few grievances highlighted by the farmers and appealed to government officials to bring transparency and to be sincere to their jobs.
Farmers cannot be asked to increase their products without a proper market to sell their products, he said, explaining that without a proper market, their products will perish which will only discourage them.
Stating that the e-marketing system has made it easier to sell products, he said that how to market the farmers’ products should be the responsibility of the officials.
The meeting cum interaction programme, organised by the Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Manipur was also attended by agriculture minister Thongam Biswajit Singh, commissioner agriculture M Joy Singh, director of agriculture, Manipur N Gojendro and experts.
During the meeting cum interaction programme, farmers from across the state highlighted their grievances on various issues including lack of proper irrigation facilities, machineries, fertilizers, provision of seeds by the officials in time, provision of quality seeds, organic fertilizer, lack of awareness on crop insurance, among others.