The villagers of Khamasom Phungdhar in Ukhrul district have pledged to support the “War on Drugs” effort being spearheaded by Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
In a release, Khamasom Phungdhar village chairman informed that the villagers have made two plans—a short-term plan and a long-term plan—to support the “War on Drugs'' campaign. Their goal is to safeguard their village’s future while preserving their natural resources and cultural heritage, the release added.
It also mentioned that the communities are aware that encouraging and aiding alternate forms of livelihoods is essential to deter poppy farming and the economy of Khamasom Phungdhar is primarily based on agriculture and horticulture.
The release stated that cultivation of agriculture and horticulture crops including millets, maize, vegetables and rearing of honeybees and indigenous pig breed of Khamasom known as Hao Hok are all part of the short-term strategy. Planting sustainable crops like avocado, coffee, bamboo, and others is part of the long-term strategy, it added.
The locals understand that sustainable agriculture is essential to the village’s development and economic success. These crops will benefit the communities in the long run and contribute to a sustainable economy.
The villagers are dedicated to making the short-term and long-term strategies successful in order to realise their vision of having a village free of poppy plantation, the release stated.
The locals are aware of the damaging effects of poppy farming on society and the environment, including soil erosion, deforestation, and the potentially fatal health effects of opium addiction.
Villagers have decided to eradicate the use of poppy from their community and take aggressive measures to deal with the problems. They have already begun growing alternative crops in an effort to make this short-term strategy a success.
K Debadutta Sharma, Project Director of the Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), recently visited the avocado farming of 10,000 plantation in Khamasom.
The villagers appealed to the government, NGOs, and other stakeholders to support their cause and aid them in achieving their objectives. They have also resolved to impose a fine of Rs 50,000 for anyone caught participating in illegal plantation.