By a Correspondent
Imphal, Jan 25,
The Central Agricultural University (CAU) in Manipur has developed a roadmap to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to double farmers’ income in north east particularly in the four hill states-Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, according to Prof M Premjit,vice chancellor of CAU.
Prof Premjit who chairs a committee for roadmap development for the above NE states said that the university has develop many research based strategies which include selection (as well as production) of quality seeds, mechanisation of farms and integrated farming system (IFS) besides encouraging family based farming for achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income afdimg that they’ve even submitted a report to the concerned authorities at centre in this regard for its implementation.
IFS is a farming practice meant for all-round development of agriculture with animal husbandry and other occupations related to core agricultural practices since farmers in the northeast have small land holdings.
Recommending beekeeping as one of key components of IFS, prof premjit said, “If we neglect bees, the pollinators, we cannot get the desired yield. So beekeeping should be one of the components for cross-pollinated crops such as oil seeds.”
He also informed that IFS can help in reducing the jhum cultivation areas in the region as well considering its potentials. Manipur’s total jhum area is said to be around 1,22,147 ha in 2017, according to official reports.
“We also need to focus on quality endemic crops - pineapple,orange,ginger,lemon and passion fruit which are our pride in the country by giving skill development on value addition and processing techniques,” Vice chancellor of CAU, the biggest agricultural university in India with 13 affiliated colleges, said. “Besides we need to introduce agri-tourism by developing small huts inside the orchard or farmland etc to motivate the youths and control migration to other parts.”
Scientists in collaboration with the farmers have taken up some initiatives to produce adequate quality (paddy) seeds for supply purposes in state like Manipur which annually requires 2000 tons of (paddy) seeds.
“But the government alone cannot provide quality seeds for successful implementation of such strategies including IFS considering the lack of assured irrigation in region. Providing irrigation will take time. Even if irrigation facilities are provided in the valley, it would be a difficult in hills except the rainwater harvest (or spring water harvest),” he said. “So farmers should target production of quality (paddy) seeds and earn extra revenue as rice is life of NE people.”
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.