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Coming back to the roots

by IT Web Admin
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Of the multitudes of issues plaguing the state, almost, if not all, invariably have an important aspect pertaining to finance or economics. That the state government, despite the abundant potential resources waiting to be utilized, has been barking up the wrong tree, constantly whimpering about the lack of central funds and financial sops being handed out at intervals to keep the people occupied and distracted enough. The demand for Inner Line Permit System in the state has its root in the soaring influx of immigrants looking for work which is crowding out the economic opportunities for the indigenous population. The increasing agitations and allegations of disparity and partiality being put up by the numerous tribal communities can be traced back to the misappropriation of resources and benefits meant for the people living in far flung and remote places, in addition to the present controversies regarding the implementation or rather the non-implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the state serving as a glaring example. A community or state whose residents are gainfully engaged in economic activities will have little time for reckless agitations or disruptive activities nor the inclination, and the state administrators and heads should have made efforts from this angle to bring about sustained development and undisturbed progress.
The recent decision of the state government to replace Poppy cultivation with Cardamom in an effort to wean the farmers away from the illegal practice while providing sustainable alternative source of income in Paomata and Purul sub-divisions of Senapati district should be hailed as a welcome move- a rarity these days. But there is still a long way to go before the decision can reap concrete result or bring real benefit to the farmers. As is wont to happen more times than anybody would care to admit, the positive step is fraught with the danger of various opportunists and human parasites waiting to pounce on the slightest chance for personal profit. Another avenue which the state government has inexplicably failed to explore that can bring immense profit and income for the cultivators as well as the state is Panax Ginseng or Ginseng in short. There had been frequent reports of the seizure of the wonder root by the security forces from the hills in large quantities which proves that the plant which is coveted for its numerous medicinal properties the world over is naturally suited to the climatic conditions and soil of Manipur. It is also a known fact that the demand for the plant will always remain high. The possibility of the state as well as the central forces preventing the illegal export of the plant is nil. Why is the state government still not able to add two and two together? Why cannot the concern department draw up sustainable and feasible plans to cultivate Ginseng under controlled environments so that everybody benefits? Instead of trying to replicate developed cities from across the oceans, it would be more prudent and profitable to take a real close look at the numerous untapped potential and reap the benefits instead of indulging in expensive and unrealistic flights of fantasies. For, a rich and gleaming city with poor and deprived residents will mean little for all the efforts and enthusiasm. It is time to think out of the box- with positive intent.  

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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