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ACAUT has urged chief minister Neiphiu Rio to intervene, assist and facilitate in creation of avenues for local formers to sell their surplus produce in Dimapur.
In an open letter to the chief minister, ACAUT co-chairman Simon Kelio and secretary Hetoi Chishi pointed out that though the government was promoting economic self-sufficiency and declaring farmer years, it was ironically unable to provide avenues to local farmers for selling their surplus produce in the markets and towns of the State. They alleged that the local farmers were unable to sell their produce in the markets of Dimapur as mafia-like gangsters had taken over the markets and created monopoly and syndicate system in connivance with non-local traders.
The poor farmers were also at the receiving end of unabated taxation along the way to Dimapur by governmental agencies, various factions of NNPGs, numerous associations and unions, thus making the entire exercise of brining their produce to Dimapur non-profitable, they explained.
To buttress its point, ACAUT Nagaland cited the instance of a farmer from Pfutsero being assaulted in Dimapur a few years ago for defying the diktats of the syndicate and trying to sell cabbages in Dimapur market.
As Phek district registered surplus produce of organic cabbages that year, the farmers brought them to Dimapur for sale, but were unsuccessful. ACAUT Nagaland claimed of having intervened and tried to help the farmers in association with Business Association of Nagas (BAN), but the move failed and the whole lot of cabbages were distributed free and the remaining simply rotted.
Stating that this year too there was surplus of organic produce in various districts like tomatoes at Longkhum village in Mokokchung district and cabbages in Phek districts, ACAUT Nagaland suggested Rio various measures to provide a congenial atmosphere to the local farmers to tap markets in Dimapur. These include setting up of sabzi mandis in the town, setting up markets in designated areas for local farmers, identifying surplus produce from various districts and ban import of such produce from outside the State till the local output gets exhausted, initiating strict measures to curb illegal taxation by various agencies and setting up committees comprising the police, district administration and various associations and unions to look into and supervise the whole exercise.
The organisation appealed to the chief minister to take its appeal on a priority basis to ameliorate the economic condition of local farmers and in the larger interest of the State’s economy.