IMPHAL | Jun 23: Chief minister N. Biren Singh has assured that the state government is ready to provide all possible support to farmers to enhance pineapple production. He was speaking as the chief guest at the closing function of the five-day long Festival of Pineapple and Summer Fruits at Sangaithel Park in Imphal West district today.
He said that the State is still largely dependent on products and commodities imported from outside. As such, there is need for a well-planned systematic approach to increase production of the state, he observed. Stating that the state government is now focussing on assisting farmers and entrepreneurs in this regard, he informed that educated youths and hardworking farmers are being provided soft loans and help through StartUp Manipur.
Stating that mulch plastic is required in large scale in modern farming, the chief minister said that the government would provide it at subsidised rates at the earliest. He also observed that farmers should put in concerted effort in association with government officials and experts to boost production so that state’s products can be exported as value-added items.
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Maintaining that the government has started taking up steps to enhance production, Manipur Livelihood Mission has been introduced to increase fish production. On the other hand, fish feed production unit has been set up at Lamphelpat, and the unit is likely to make available fish feed in the market soon.
“The state government had also started exporting organic ginger produced in Pherzawl district to other states since last year,” he added. To fulfil the necessity of proper storage facility of horticulture and agriculture produces in the state, cold storages would be set up at five different places soon, the chief minister informed.
Regarding influx of illegal migrants, N. Biren said that necessary steps had been put into place at entry points like Mao, Jiribam and Moreh etc. Stating that Behiang is another important entry point, which has been overlooked for long, CM announced that he would open Behiang police station tomorrow. Construction of the police station began last year after its foundation stone was laid by the CM himself.
Speaking at the function, horticulture and soil conservation minister Th. Shyamkumar said that a mini cold storage facility would be constructed at Sangaithel area soon for the convenience of farmers. He urged the farmers to focus on producing organic produces because it has huge demand all over the world. The minister said that State produces would not find any market if chemical fertilizers are used while farming.
Deputy chairman of state planning board, S. Rajen, MLAs Y. Surchandra, Ksh. Biren and P. Brojen also attended the function as dignitaries.
Earlier, the chief minister and other dignitaries also distributed prizes to best farmers and seeds to selected villagers at the function. They also inspected the stalls opened at the park in connection with the festival.
Jointly organised by planning department, department of agriculture, department of trade, commerce and industries, department of horticulture and soil conservation, department of tourism, Central Agricultural University and ICAR, the Festival of Pineapple and Summer Fruits began on June 19, 2019.