Pothashang News Service
Imphal, October 23: “One can take up anything suitable job to live a prosperous life, but we need practical support from the government”, said Soibam Maniton, a journalist banana farmer and president of Kanglei Economic Development Organization, an Imphal based self employed group.
“The state government leaders keep addressing to enhance self employment, however till today I don’t get any financial support or loan”, lamented the national award winner for banana plantation.
He is aplenty supplier of banana in the market during Puja, Diwali and Ningol Chakouba festivals. This season he could sell only 35 pendent bunches as against 60 such bunches sold last year’s festival season. “Frequent mass flood has affected my farm, but there has been no aid given as against the promises of the government”, said Maniton.
The state government must not only talk on encouraging self employment as an alternative job opportunity, it should be made practical, “Where is Sab Ka Sath Sab Ka Vikash for people like me?” asked Maniton.
There were three flash flood episodes in May, June and July this year. The recent heavy rainfall had also flooded his farm adding woes further.
This year the bananas in his farm are infected and turned yellow before they are matured. “I have to plant new saplings this year for the next year’s demand”, said Maniton.
Maniton is a 50 years old man, a resident of Lilong Arapti, Imphal East and his farm is located nearby his residence.
This man started marketing banana for the first time in 2010, taking part in a Ningol Chakouba fair in Imphal. In this very year, he too started supplying bananas in the Imphal Khwairamband market.
Maniton does not grow just bananas. He takes up vegetable plantation too. He began banana plantation after he met one banana farmer during his news story hunt.
At the initiation he planted 5, 00 banana saplings of Grain Nain variety. Today, he grows 1, 000 banana trees. During his struggle to success he incurred huge loss in 2011.
“Banana plantation is easier than any other vegetables I grow in my farm. From the day of plantation of the sapling it takes a maximum of just one year to reap fruit.” Said Maniton.
Maniton is a national level Gaurai Hi-Tech Banana award in 2013. “I deal with organic farming and I never use chemical fertilizers or pesticides or insecticides in my farm”, said Maniton.
He also supplies season’s vegetables in the market. Door to door vegetables mongers on cycle rickshaw of Kanglei Economic Development Organization collect vegetables from Maniton too.
“In a year if nature favours I could earn Rs 1.5 lakh from banana plantation”, said Maniton.
Inspired by Maniton’s success, farmers in his vicinity started taking up banana plantations. It has added to the volume of local product use.
“Why should the youth of today look for only government jobs? One can take up any suitable job. It will be more productive when educated youth joins more in farming.” Said Maniton. But, the youth will be discouraged if they don’t get support from the government, he added.
He has two girls and two boys in the family. His wife and bigger children helps him in his farm. He enjoys joint family and everyone in the family is indulged in his farm.