Tapping youth’s agricultural skills imperative: Karam Shyam
IMPHAL, 11th Oct: CAF&PD minister Karam Shyam has observed that Manipur could be the frontrunner in agricultural sector of the country if potentials of youth of the land, who are blessed with abundant agricultural knowledge are tapped by giving them proper guidance.
The minister made the observation during the closing ceremony of the four-day long ‘State Agriculture Fair 2019’ organised by State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI) in association with the Department of Agriculture on the theme “Climate Resilient Agriculture” at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen, Palace Compound here on Friday. The fair was organised under the sponsorship of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.
Speaking at the event as chief guest, Karam Shyam said that the state has able to use only 3 months for agriculture production due to unpredictable monsoon rain this year and as such, various departments of the state government, including Revenue and Water Resources should work in unison with Agriculture Department to address the issue of unproductive 9 months of this year in order to increase the productivity of food grains and other crops and minimize dependency on other states for various agriculture products. The minister said that he felt overwhelmed on seeing varieties of vegetables, fruits and other products produced by farmers of the different districts of the state with each district producing its own unique variety. He lauded the immense talents of the farmers and their sincere efforts put in agricultural activities without which the state will suffer from scarcity of food grains and hunger. Highlighting the problems encountered by agriculture sector due to uncertain monsoon season, he asserted that experts should conduct awareness programmes and training for the welfare of the farmers apart from providing technological knowhow and training so as to solve the problem of food scarcity.
Karam Shyam said that such fairs should be held regularly like the Sangai Festival by the state government with funding from the centre because this will not only help boost the economy of the state but also of the country.
He appealed to the Agriculture Department to extend the duration of the fair to more than three days in the interest of the public particularly farmers.
Attending as guest of honour, ICAR-NER, Imphal joint director Dr I Meghachandra opined that different strategies need to be adopted to combat the emerging challenges of climate change, drought problem, uncertain rain and water storage issues.
Speaking at the function as president, Commissioner (Agriculture) M Joy expressed concern over farmers’ grievances caused by climate change and inability to acquire agricultural technology, saying that a collective effort is required to promote the farmers for better productivity.
During the programme, Best State Level Farmers award was conferred to T Phulen Luwang of Bishnupur district while S Korouhanba of Imphal East district and Farmer’s Club promoted by KVK Thoubal bagged the Best Exemplary and Best Entrepreneur Stall Awards respectively. ATMA Churachandpur grabbed the Best Performing ATMA District Award while the Best Farmer District Level Awards were presented to 18 farmers belonging to different districts of the state. About 46 stalls were opened during the State Agricultural Fair.