Imphal: Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh inaugurated a two-day National Seminar Cum Workshop on Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming: Health Hazards of Agro-Chemicals use in Food Production at the Court Hall, Manipur University, Canchipur.
Addressing the inaugural function, Biren Singh said, “No matter how many seminars or discussions are conducted, we cannot achieve success, unless we work with on mission-mode with a target.”
He lauded officials of Horticulture and Agriculture departments and said that these officials have work with sincerity and aggressively ensuring massive change in the sector.
He elaborated that the overall land covered under organic farming in the State was just 5000 hectares in 2016 which has been expanded 37,900 in 2021-22, which is almost 200 time that of the 2016, with approval from the Centre.
Not only this, but production has also increased from just 25,000 MT to 2,59,400 MT now, he added.
Lauding the hard-work of the farmers and capabilities of the officials, Biren said Manipur can be among the top states in the country. Today, Manipur has been adjudged Best Improved Small State for three consecutive years, he added.
He said Rs 80 crore has already been earmarked in the budget to buy-back rice from the state’s farmers.
“We are trying to bring the changes,” the chief minister said. “We are moving forward with opinions, advice and suggestions from experts.”
Biren also deliberated on the issue of water scarcity in the state and expressed concern over the depleting jungle cover of the state. He strongly said there can be no water in the lakes and rivers, if there are no forests.
“We are concentrating on ground water,” he said, adding that installation of 550 groundwater tube-wells and 375 wells are under process in the state.
The chief minister spoke on natural and organic farming and said both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Amit Shah have laid emphasis on natural and organic farming.
A committee headed by an additional chief secretary under a Cabinet sub-committee has been set up and a toll-free number will be announced soon to immediately assist and intervene to any issues raised by farmers, the chief minister said.
He also highlighted the importance of natural fertilizers. He said the government has also identified a site at Mayang Imphal area for composting phumdis from Loktak to organic fertilizer.
“We are also encouraging Nano fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizer,” he said highlighting the need to eradicate use of chemical fertilizers to build a strong and healthy society.
The state will showcase women empowerment in the state during the March 17-18 G-20 event in the state by highlighting various achievements of the state’s women including Ema Market, start-up woman entrepreneurs, etc.
Agriculture minister Thongam Biswajit Singh, vice-chancellor, Manipur University, Prof. Naorem Lokendra Singh also attended the inaugural function.
The seminar cum workshop is being jointly organised by the Department of Economics, Manipur University and the All Manipur Progressive Farmers’ Association (AMPFA) in collaboration with Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Manipur Centre, Imphal, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Services, department of Fisheries and Directorate of Health Services.