Imphal: Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh on Thursday flagged off consignment of 1 MT of organic Chak-Hao (black rice) to Europe in function held at the western gate of chief minister’s secretariat.
“For the first time, 1 MT of this highly nutritious rice variety was being exported officially to different European countries”, Biren said.
Chak-Hao had got the Geographical Indication tag and it had good demands from different parts of the country as well, he added.
He said export of organic ginger and pineapple are also being done regularly under the aegis of Manipur Organic Mission Agency, department of horticulture and soil conservation, Manipur.
Stating that all necessary supports are being extended to farmers in this regard the chief minister said there is need for quantity and quality increase in production of indigenous varieties.
On the occasion, the chief minister also flagged off vehicles carrying quality seeds for distribution to villagers of different districts affected by destruction of poppy plantations due to the government’s ‘War on Drugs’ campaign. Quality seeds are being provided to villagers under the Alternative Seed Distribution Scheme by the department of horticulture and soil conservation.
“Today’s distribution of seeds was for around 460 hectares for the farmers affected by destruction of poppy plants due to ‘War on Drugs’ campaign,” Biren said.
He appreciated people’s support and positive response to the campaign. Seeds of F1-Cabbage, quinoa and ginger would be provided to the farmers of Kangpokpi, Chandel, Ukhrul, Tengnoupal and Senapati as alternative to poppy, he added.
‘War on Drugs’ campaign was launched to destroy the illegal poppy plantations. As a result, during 2020-21, many poppy growers were affected.
To mitigate the adverse and immediate impact of poppy destruction on poor farmers Biren instructed the officials concerned to form an inter-departmental committee and chalk out ways to provide quality seeds as an alternative means of livelihood to the farmers.
The committee recommended distribution of quality winter seeds as alternative crops. An amount of Rs 50 lakh was sanctioned during 2020-21 for procurement of the same and distribute it to the farmers.