Farmers demand proper irrigation facilities
Farmers of Toubul, Khoijuman and Kwaksifai which are among the most leading vegetable crops producer of the state is reeling under constant threat of survival due to acute shortage of water for their agricultural practices. In this regard, the helpless farmers have appealed authority concerned to construct a Check Dam that has the capacity to irrigate these places.
Briefing reporters during field visit in the dried land of Khoijuman, member of Khoijuman Mamang Farmer Organisation, Ningthoujam Kesho Singh said that agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for the people of Toubul, Khoijuman and Kwaksifai in Bishnupur district. “More than 70 percent of vegetable crops produced in the state are from these places,” he said.
The total arable land around 4000 pari (local unit) are of greeneries throughout the year as the farmers practices triple cropping producing all varieties of seasonal vegetable crops. But these days they are unable to produce even the single crop in large quantities, he complained.
Kesho further stated that farmers are facing such unfavourable situation with the continuous deepening of river bed of the Thongjaorok River as this river is the lifeline of these places. But the present size of the river is more or less similar to drain. It can easily cross by foot. Because of this very reason, farmers cultivating mainly above the Imphal Main Canal is suffering unbearable lost laying the crop land barren, he added.
“The river bed gradually decreased from the past 15 years due to excessive quarrying by some powerful people for their self-benefit and deforestation in catchment areas. Not only this, construction of Yelangchingjin Dam near Chingning Khun also blocked water that has to fall on the river,” he pointed out.
He also said that farmers completely stop paddy cultivation from last seven years and substituted by the crops that do not require much water. Even this solution will no longer be applicable after some years. The only means to address the problem is to construct check dam at earliest, he added.
“We have raised this issue to the authority concerned several times. Even the local MLA assured of providing irrigation facilities three months back. But it is not materialised till date”, he complained while adding that they will pay bill in time if they were asked to.
When asked about Kishan Credit Card, the farmer representative said that they have the card and so far Rs. 2000 was transacted as a benefit of holding the card and nothing else. “We despite being real farmers do not get anything from the department but people in close association with department received crop seeds, green house etc. at free of cost” he lamented.
These farmers no longer wish for any more benefits from the government except proper irrigation facilities.
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