The Manipur government on Thursday launched "Alternative Farming System for Tribal Jhumias/Poppy Planters" in 10 districts of the state. The government also distributed Rabi crop seeds and farming tools and equipment worth Rs 4.87 crore to farmers at the CM Secretariat in Imphal.
"Happy to launch the Alternative Farming System for Tribal Jhumias/Poppy Planters in different hill-districts at my Secretariat. Also, distributed Rabi Crop Seeds and farming tools and equipment worth Rs 4.87 crore to the beneficiary farmers," Chief Minister N Biren tweeted on Thursday.
The programme was launched to control deforestation and to provide alternative means to poppy cultivation, especially in hill districts of Manipur. It is organised by the Eastern Border Areas Development Authority (EBADA), Government of Manipur under the funding North Eastern Council (NEC) Shillong, Government of India.
The programme aims at holistic development of the tribal communities. It also aims to provide training to indigenous inhabitants of the state to embrace organic farming, mixed crop farming and seed management to promote sustainable farming.
"The programme was launched aiming at the holistic development of the tribal communities- training the indigenous inhabitants to embrace practices like organic farming, mixed crop farming, seed management and promote sustainable farming," Biren, who is also chairman, EBADA, said.
The 10 districts of Manipur for which the programme was launched included Churachandpur, Pherzawl, Noney, Tamenglong, Senapati, Kangpokpi, Ukhrul, Kamjong, Tengnoupal and Chandel.
Biren said to control climate change and as a part of the Manipur government’s ‘War on Drug’ campaign, the present government has been taking various initiatives, including mass destruction of poppy cultivation and providing crops to poppy cultivation, he added.
He said that due to the impact of climate change, people of the state do not feel the cold like the previous years, even in the month of December. With the drastic change in climatic condition the world has started facing different diseases, including the pandemic, the CM said.
The chief minister said that to preserve the natural environment for the future generation, the country has been taking various measures under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including G20 Presidency under the theme “One Earth One Family One Future”.
Biren said that if measures are not taken to control climate change, there is a high chance of a huge climatic disaster in the next few decades.
Aiming to develop green Manipur, the government has been taking various initiatives by providing alternative crops to poppy plantation, to encourage terrace cultivation instead of shifting cultivation in hill districts, the CM said.
He said any individual cannot save the environment by becoming an environmental activist on social media but that they need to be involved at the ground level. He cautioned those NGOs that the government will not spare that are trying to mislead the public by spreading false information to innocent public.
Biren appealed to the farmers’ society to continue planting crops consistently for better yield and income and assured to support those farmers all the time.
He said in the next few years Manipur will be known for horticulture produce and tourism.
Horticulture Minister Letpao Haokip the soil of Manipur suits for plantation of various nutritive value plants. He appealed to the farmers not to remain in cultivation of traditional crops but to cultivate nutritive value plants which are highly demanding in various parts of the country.
By cultivating highly nutritive value plants, farmers can export them to other states and earn huge income, he said.
As a part of the programme, Biren distributed rabi crops seeds, nursery items, tools and equipment to 17 registered farmers societies from Senapati, Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, Kamjong, Ukhrul, Chandel, Tengnoupal, Tamenglong and Noney.
Transport Minister Khashim Vashum, Ukhrul MLA Ram Muivah, Singhat MLA Chinlunthang, chief secretary Rajesh Kumar and additional chief secretary P Vaiphei, deputy commissioners, representatives of the Farmer Producers Society also attended the programme.
The items distributed to the farmers society were 1 Grass cutter, 10 spades, 2 Shovels, 2 Pick-Axe, 5 Rakes, 5 bundles of Cocopeat, 50 pieces of Plug-tray, 5 plastic crates, 1 packet coriander, 3 packets of pea, 1 packet of bean, 1 packet of beans(long), 1 packet of Chia seeds and 1 packet of Wax Gourd.