CM tells achievement tales at Orange Fest kick-off

TAMENGLONG, 8th Dec: “What we promised we delivered; be it development of roads, dedication of women’s market to the public, launch of helicopter service, resumption of MST bus services, construction of doctor’s transit house, Tamenglong water supply scheme, FCI warehouse, SBI Tamei Branch,” exclaimed chief minister N Biren.
In his address as chief guest during inauguration of the three-day 15th State Level Orange Festival at Lower Ground, Tamenglong district headquarters Saturday, the chief minister said that the government translating into action assurances given earlier to the people of Tamenglong district is under the steely resolve to ensure good governance.
Noting plight and grievances of the orange growers owing to infestation of orange trees by insects, he assured that all the orange growers of Tamenglong district will be provided financial assistance under the start-up programme of the state government.
While suggesting that the affected orange farmers provide blue print of the land, number of orange plants planted, etc., along with the photographs through the district’s deputy commissioner, Biren also directed officials of horticulture department to set up a research team within a week to specifically look into problems faced by the orange growers of Tamenglong.
Under the SAMPADA Scheme or from the state’s fund, cold storage will be set up soon for the orange growers of Tamenglong, he maintained and stressed that orange growers should adopt scientific method of farming to increase orange yield.
Entrusting the Horticulture Department to form a team of dedicated research experts to identify the root cause of the plant diseases and forward recommendations based on their findings at the earliest, the CM said: “The government will resolve this problem.”
Further stating that the government will set up cold storage and e-market system to help the orange growers market their products in a profitable and efficient manner, he reiterated that committees of research experts should be formed to facilitate regular meetings with the farmers and provide them proper guidance.
As the annual orange production remained static at around 43.81 metric tonne from year 2014 to 2018 farmers need to undertake farming systematically to ensure that the hard toil in the farms do not go waste, the CM said and called upon the orange growers to consult subject experts for better production of oranges.
Further assuring the gathering that the issues of land encroachment in District Court and Jail premises, District Information Office, Horticulture and Fishery office campuses will be solved very soon by consulting the district administration, Biren also pointed out that apart from having good roads and transport system, involvement of the masses, collective effort and commitment of local elders and leaders will make orange cultivation commercially viable.
Expressing satisfaction that the government has succeeded in opening up business opportunities for people of Tamenglong due to operationalization of the inter-district bus and chopper service linking Tamenglong with Imphal, the chief minister stated that the government will accord top priority in ensuring good roads.
Speaking on the occasion, Tamenglong MLA Samuel Jendai highlighted that the orange festival strengthens bond of love and friendship among people from all parts of the state. Calling upon the orange farmers to form societies so to collectively avail benefits of government schemes and better production and marketing of oranges, he expressed that Tamenglong can take pride of being the land of festivals in Manipur.
Altogether, 173 orange growers are participating in the festival while district administration put up stalls to provide relevant information to people and farmers.
Among others, inaugural day of the festival was also attended by Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister Karam Shyam, Horticulture and Soil Conservation minister Th Shyamkumar Singh, Tamenglong MLA Samuel Jendai, Tamei MLA Awangbow Newmai, chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu, secretary (PHED & Tourism) Nidhi Kesarwani, Tamenglong Autonomous District Council chairman Namsinrei Panmei and Deputy Commissioner (Tamenglong) Ravinder Singh.
The dignitaries visited the orange stalls and interacted with orange growers. The three-day festival will also feature a seminar for orange growers under the theme ‘Orange and other horticultural crops: perspective, problem and potential’.
Researchers from Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Central Agricultural University (CAU), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and senior media persons will present papers and deliver lectures on the seminar theme as resource persons. As a part of the function, Chief Minister Biren also launched a news website of Dihcham newspaper which is the largest circulated daily in Tamenglong district.

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