CM advises officials to promote double cropping

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 2nd Dec: Chief minister N Biren has instructed officials of departments concerned to introduce and promote double cropping in unutilised paddy fields at areas covered by Loktak Lift Irrigation Project, Dolaithabi Barrage and Thoubal Multipurpose project.
The CM was speaking at the launch of Rabi Campaign 2018 at Haotal Pangei, Imphal East, which aims at encouraging farmers to increase crop productivity. The campaign was launched during an exhibition of Farm Agri Equipment jointly organised by agriculture department and Manipur Farm Enterprises Private Limited.
Speaking as chief guest, Biren informed that the initiative was taken up to increase food productivity in the state, which has large potential to produce different types of crops and vegetables whole year round. Departments related with agriculture have been discussing the matter for months and a committee on water resource was formed to ensure proper irrigation facilities in the unutilised paddy fields after harvesting. The government took up the joint venture since the government or farmers alone could not achieve this objective, he said.
Launching the campaign will have positive impact on the economy of the state, he said and added that he would personally monitor updates and improvement of the initiative on weekly basis. The government is planning to provide 100 per cent subsidy to those deserving farmers on providing loans and procurement of machines. A new policy for the welfare of the farmers would be announced soon, he added.
The government is also studying potential areas where such initiatives could be taken up. Dolaithabi project can now provide irrigation facility up to a distance of 18 km from the barrage.
Right canal of Thoubal dam has started functioning. Besides, Centre has sanctioned Rs 21 crore and approved another amount of Rs 240 crore for improving irrigation facility in the state. At the same time, one machine of Loktak Lift Irrigation Project is functioning at present and as such, the government will identify potential areas within the reach of these projects to take up double cropping initiatives, Biren informed. He further said, “We need to discuss why Manipur is still lagging behind in various sectors as compared to other states. The government is working tirelessly to uplift the lives of people and to bring positive changes in the state. It is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double farmers' income by 2022. Such initiative would definitely inprove economy of the state and make farmers self-reliant.”
Highlighting the huge talents and potentials of the people in every sector, the CM stressed the need for transparency and sincerity in taking up any initiative. Stressing that officials should get engaged in actual field works instead of just executing them from the comfort of their offices, the CM also advocated policies to cultivate work culture among the people of the state, many of whom, he said, could be seen gossiping in every nook and corner. In order to help the willing youths in taking up new ventures, the government had instructed banks to provide loans to promising youths. There is no need for banks to exist if they are not willing to help people of the state, he maintained. He also informed that the government has started a survey of banks and a ranking will be announced based on their performance towards helping the public in the form of financial assistance.
Clarifying on the recent attacks by unidentified predator in the state, the CM appealed to the people not to panic and added that DFOs and police officials have been instructed to take preventive and precautionary measures for public safety. Wooden cages have been set up to trap the animals at various places.
Agriculture minister V Hangkhanlian said that there are around 2.34 lakh hectares of cultivable land available in the state. However, large portion of the land remain barren during off season. “We must find solutions for optimal usage of such land,” he said and added that the agriculture department is working tirelessly to increase farmers’ income two-fold by 2022.
Agriculture director Ph Rajendro said that the government is now providing 80 to 95 per cent subsidy to farmers in purchasing farm equipment. He also expressed concern over how the state is lagging behind in farm mechanisation as maximum of the farmers in the state are living hand to mouth.
The department will cover the whole state in providing subsidy to farmers club or farmers interest groups towards meeting the objective of increasing food production capacity of the state, he added. State Planning Board deputy chairman S Rajen, MLA L Susindro, officials of agriculture department and several farmers attended the programme.


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