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JIRIBAM, JULY 7, 2018 (DIPR): Forest and Environment Minister Shri Thounaojam Shyamkumar said agar oil extraction units will be set up at Jiribam, Tengnoupal (Moreh) and Kamjong (Ningthi village) districts.

Minister Th. Shyamkumar made the announcement at the launch of the agar plantation programme at the Lamtai Khunou, Jiribam district today at the programme organised by the State Forest Department. Around 3,200 numbers of agar seedlings were planted across 2 hectares of land.

Addressing media persons, the Minister said the mass agar plantation programme is being taken up in the State following the MoU signed between the Government of India and Government of Laos during the last year’s Manipur Sangai Festival. Government of Laos will provide maintenance fund, necessary treatments for the trees and a market place for the agar trees planted in the State.

Minister Shyamkumar further said that the officials of Laos will visit the State to provide necessary treatments for the better growth of the trees including fungi injection. He added that the agar trees planted in the State will be marketed for income generation of the villagers along with helping in conservation of environment.

Stating that the Forest Department is aiming to achieve the target within the month of August, he said the villagers will maintain, protect and extract the trees thus providing livelihood. Appealing to the people of the State not to waste Forest land, he said all should come forward and plant suitable trees, including fruit bearing trees.

Jiribam, Tengnoupal and Kamjong districts are most suitable for the agar plantation and the agar trees which are planted now will be extracted after 7-8 years. It may be mentioned that Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh launched the agar plantation at Heingang Reserve Forest on June 24, 2018.

Minister Th. Shyamkumar was accompanied by the officials of Forest Department and district level officials including Shri Robert Kshetrimayum, Deputy Commissioner, Jiribam District, Shri Kh. Brojendro Singh, Conservator of Forests/Western Circle, Shri Ch. Ibomcha, Divisional Forest Officer, Jiribam Forest Division, S. Shanti Devi, Chairperson, Jiribam Municipal Council and officials of Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department, Jiribam District.

The Minister, who is on a three-day tour of Jiribam district, also met the people of Lamtai Khunou and heard their grievances. Later, he visited the Jiribam Forest Division and interacted with the officials. (DIPR)

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