DBT launched for registered organic farmers CM makes final appeal to poppy planters

Imphal, May 05 2022: Chief Minister N Biren Singh today launched Direct Bene-fit Transfer (DBT) for 18,000 registered farmers under Horticulture Department for Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER), Phase- III (2020-23).There are altogether 25,000 farmers under Phase-III MOVCDNER, Manipur including 7000 farmers registered under Agriculture Department and 18,000 farmers under Horticulture Department.

Speaking as the chief guest of the programme held at the Durbar Hall, CM’s Secretariat, Chief Minister N Biren appreciated farmers turning towards organic farming.

He called on all farmers to focus on organic farming and support the Government’s mission to convert the State into a total organic State within the next five years.

Stressing on the negative impacts of chemical fertilizers, the Chief Minister said chemical fertilizers affect consumers’ health.

He said that organic farming is in fact easy as preparation of organic manure using kitchen waste and other organic matters is quite easy.

He further expressed his belief to witness an increase in the number of farmers, production and areas covered under the scheme by next year.

Horticulture is very much related to livelihood and health, he said, explaining that the department provides livelihood avenues to uneducated youth while encouraging organic farming helps in improving the health of the people.

The Horticulture department has a major role in making Manipur self-reliant, improving the State’s economy and health sector, he added.

Further, the Chief Minister spoke strongly against illegal poppy plantation and issued a strong warning stating that the present Government will not spare anyone found involved in the drug business or poppy plantation.

The drug menace has strongly affected the society, the Chief Minister said, and reiterated that there will be no compromise on any drugs related issue.

“We cannot remain silent anymore,” the Chief Minister asserted, adding that the present Government has the mandate of the people and will not succumb to the interest of the few who are jeopardising the future of the youth.

In an appeal to illegal poppy planters in the hills, the Chief Minister said this is his last appeal to do away with poppy plantations and take up alternative livelihood.

He also said that he has apprised the Centre on the issue and highlighted that without proper rehabilitation, the issue has led to severe ecological imbalances, land erosion in the hills due to extensive use of chemical fertilisers, inability to save forest, etc.

He further said that the Government is ready to provide necessary assistance for an alternative arrangement under any department, whether under Horticulture or Veterinary and that it should be initiated from a district initially.

He further highlighted that the NDPS Act has also been amended and steps are being taken up to de-recognise villages found involved in poppy plantation.

A Government constituted committee is there to identify the number of houses in a village and which villages are involved in poppy plantation, the Chief Minister said adding that if the need arises the Hill Areas Committee or Revenue Department or any other will be consulted.

Hinting at interference from certain organisations, the Chief Minister said that the elected representatives are here to govern the State and all 60 Members are working for the future of Manipur.He further said, “We should have some civic sense and think of our neighbours also.

Let us all live together in unity and face the challenges thrown at us” .

The Chief Minister also said that actions will be taken up against those who make inflammatory and communal comments.

N Biren also warned of legal action against illegal encroachers and said the Government would give one month’s time for them to come before the Government.

The Chief Minister stressed on the Government’s stand on corruption and said that Government recruitments will only be based on merit and there will be no corruption.

He urged upon the people to be part of the change.

He said that the DBT system hinders corruption and there is no harassment in the system.

Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Let-pao Haokip said poppy plantation affects the society in two ways which are the drug menace in the society and deforestation in the hills.

“We cannot take this lightly”, the Minister said.

The Minister also expressed the need to implement schemes by laying more emphasis on plantations which are more suitable to the State’s soil to ensure successful implementation of the scheme.

The government under Chief Minister N Biren Singh has also assured all possible help in providing alternative sustainable livelihood to stop poppy plantation in the hills, he said adding that the department will have to take a pivotal role in the fight against poppy plantation.

He added that, “Nature has been very generous to our State, but we are unable to use it” .

Delivering the key-note address, Additional Chief Secretary, Horticulture and Soil Conservation P Vaiphei said that the Chief Minister has taken a very strong initiative for transparency and accountability, particularly in implementation of e-governance schemes and today’s DBT transfer is one such activity.

The Addl CS further made an appeal to all farmers involved in poppy plantation to stop and come forward so that the Government may provide all possible assistance or alternative farming programmes.

He also cited an example Peh village in Ukhrul where villages came out voluntarily and destroyed their poppy plantation last year for they had realised that it was bad for the future generations and detrimental to the future of Manipur.

The department had taken up various activities in the village.

The Chief Minister had deputed a special team from Horticulture Department, who engaged all the people under the MOVCDNER, Manipur and brought them into organic farming under the department, he said.

The Addl CS also spoke about a study done under the advice of the CM to convert Loktak Phumdis into nutrients for agriculture farming, adding that a detailed project report has been made.

The proposal is to convert the phumdis into nutrients which will make the State self-dependent in terms of nutrient production and the nutrients will be chemical free.

The launching programme was also attended by Horticulture and Soil Conservation Director Honey Chara and officials of MOMA, among others.

Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs.11,250/- per farmer for the components of assistance for on-farm input for both first year and second year and for off-farm inputs production for first year was transferred to the registered farmers’ accounts today.

Another Rs.3750 will be transferred to the farmers in the next instalment.

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