Biswajit calls for increasing, exporting chilli produces

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 6th Sep: Commerce and Industry minister Th Biswajit Wednesday called upon chilli farmers of Sirarakhong to adopt new technologies for increasing chilli production and export them to other states. The minister was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural of the three-day long 8th Hathei Phanit (Chilli Festival) organised by Sirarakhong Sanaolong at Sirarakhong village ground.

Speaking at the occasion, Biswajit observed that chillies of Sirarakhong have its own unique characteristics and the village is blessed with its suitable soil for chilli cultivation. Increasing production and exporting them to other states would help in improving the economy of the village as well as the state, he said.

Noting that the state is blessed with different soil types suitable for different crops at different areas, the minister stressed the need for utilising the best of these features to bring economic development in the state.

Further stressing the need for promoting such festivals as a way of giving exposure, Biswajit said that he would discuss the possibilities of organising the festival at the state level. The government has important role in developing the agriculture and horticulture sectors, which is why the NDA government at the Centre has introduced several schemes for the welfare of farmers. So far, Centre has sanctioned Rs 6000 crore under Kishan Sampada Yojana. Centre has set up 32 mega food parks and 234 cold chains across the country, he added.

Most of the food products are wasted due to lack of processing and preservation units and Kishan Sampada Yojana was launched to address this issue, he said. Under the scheme, an entrepreneur can apply for a subsidy amount of upto Rs 10 crore. The state is now dependent on imported food products, which in turn affects the economy of the state, he said and added that it is high time to increase food production to make the state self-reliant in foods. It is also important to export products from the state with value addition to improve economy of the state, he opined.
Keirao AC MLA L Rameshwar and Horticulture deputy director S Bhabeshchandra also attended the function. More than 40 stalls are being opened in the festival.


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