By – Deborah Phijam
Imphal, Feb 16
A one day International Workshop on Alternative Plants for Opium –Poppy was held at VC ‘s Court Hall, Manipur University today. The workshop was jointly organised by Department of Forestry and Science, Manipur University , Canchipur and South East Asia Centre for Agricultural Sciences and Humanities [SEACASH] under the aegis of the Apunba Imagi Machasing [AIMS], Manipur and Marjing Industries Private Limited ,Imphal , Manipur.
“ The only thing to restraint the poor cultivator from growing poppy is not to be done only by the law but has to be done by giving alternative plantation or giving them work with adequate income” said MLA Yengkhom Surchandra Singh who attended as the Chief Guest of the inaugural session of the workshop.
He said that If opium or ganja can be used for production of medicines government should allow cultivators to plant it by providing them license in connivance with pharmaceutical companies for production of medicine to benefit both the society and the cultivators , the MLA said.
Supporting the suggestions made by Th Brinda Addl SP of the Narcotic and Affairs of Border, few days back for growing Ganja replacing opium ,Yambem Laba,senior journalist said that it has become high time for CBI not to delay furthermore in giving punishment to the drug traffickers and he further said that why the people who were supposed to be the one to tell others not to do but they have become the one who are involved in drug trafficking.
Sharing the past vivid experiences of 30 years in Myanmar,Mr .Yataku Agatsuma ,chairman ,Alternative plant for Opium poppy, Sendai, Japan, said that grapes ,coffee or ginseng can be alternative crops for poppy plantation.
Pradip Phanjoubam , Editor, FPSJ, Review of Arts and Politics said that the government have to search and block the bigger market which the drugs were supplying.
Speaking about the reasons of poppy opium plantation in Manipur, Dr.H. Birakumar singh ,senior principal scientist, CSIR-NEIST, Imphal said that the government needed to substitute the poppy opium plantation by different plants like medicinal and aromatic plants, lemon grass and citronella etc.
The workshop was also attended by MLA L.Radhakishore Singh, Prof. Amar Yumnam, L. Meghachandra , Principal Scientist ICAR – RC NEC and other scientist and academicians, from Japan.