Stressing on the adverse effects of large-scale poppy cultivation on soil and environmental impact due to mass deforestation, CM Biren on Friday said his government is ready to face any outcomes from war on drug campaigns and uprooting poppy cultivation from the state.
“It is a mission to save the future generation of the state”, Biren said while inaugurating the Agri Horti Expo for Organic and Indigenous Products of Manipur & Buyer Seller Meet at Hapta Kangjeibung, Imphal. It was organized by Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Manipur.
Stating that the state government has been taking up various initiatives to develop horticulture products and promote organic farming, Biren said that the state could become a model state among the Northeast region if the state’s potential and farmers’ skill are utilized suitably.
He said the horticulture department should identify suitable products and plant the identified products and also provide monetary and technical support to enhance production.
The chie fminister maintained that the government had implemented organic farming in the state with 5000 farmers covering 5000 hectares in 2016. The area covered under organic farming has been expanded to 37,900 hectares in the year 2021-22, he informed.
He continued that the state is able to tap the demand for organic products of the state outside the country and is venturing into the global market space with the sole aim of providing remunerative prices for the farmers.
Further, he informed that organic products worth of Rs 200 crore have been sold in the last six years and out of which Rs. 30 crores worth of products has been sold outside the state and about Rs. 1.5 crore has been exported outside the country. He expressed hope that the expo would promote and increase the sale and marketing outside the country and export.
“Market Intervention Scheme for Horticultural Products has been launched to support farmers with assured markets for their produce and preventive measures to curb food losses in the state” said the chief minister and assured that farmers need not worry about marketing platform for their produce as the government has provision for buyback of their produce. Cold storage facilities have also been set up at many places, he added.
The Food Processing Unit (MAG FRUIT FACTORY) at Nilakuthi is ready for inauguration, the CM said and informed that the Unit will have cold storage facility, cleaning, grading, sorting and packing facilities, specialized storage facilities etc. The state government is all set to introduce Advanced Drone Technology in agriculture and allied sectors for the benefit of the farming community, he further stated.
He hoped that the state level agri-horti-expo for organic and indigenous products would offer an interactive and competitive ecosystem of all stakeholders and provide opportunities to learn from each other for further improvement while showcasing their respective achievements and potential products.
Minister of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Letpao Haokip said that the three days event will fulfil the cherished dream of the state and the Horticulture Department to comprehensively showcase the unique horticulture and agricultural products and to create marketing linkage.
Buyer Seller Meet would create a platform for buyers from different parts of the Northeast as well as outside the region to interact with farmers’ organizations and emergent entrepreneurs for coherent and long-term partnership, the minister said.
After the formal inauguration programme, the chief minister visited the stalls set up by various agencies of the Agriculture and Horticulture Department, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research- NER Regional Centre, College of Agriculture (CAU), various Farmer Producer Company and Van Dhan Vikas Kendras among others.
The Agri Horti Expo & Buyer Seller meet is organized under the sponsor of Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, Ministry of Commerce, MOVCDNER, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India and State Government of Manipur and will continue till 30th of this month.
The inaugural function was attended by chairman, Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation, Khongbantabam Ibomcha, additional chief secretary, P Vaiphei, senior officials of North Eastern Region Agriculture Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, officials of the Horticulture Department and Farmer Producer Companies.