Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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IT News
Imphal, Mar 23 :

Minister for Agriculture, Government of Manipur, Oinam Lukhoi Singh handed over various awards in different categories under Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) scheme today at Farmers’ Training Hall, Directorate of Agriculture, Sanjenthong.

Altogether, 45 numbers of Awards were handed over to the awardees. The category of the awards distributed was Best State Level Farmers award, Best District level Farmers award, Best ATMA District, Award for Incentive for Exemplary Extension Work, Best ATMA Stall in the MAI-OWN Exhibition, 2021, Outstanding Award for Distinguishing Service to Farmers’ and Incentive Award for 7 (seven) new districts participated in the SAF, 2021.  A total cash award of Rs. 10, 30,000/- (Rupees ten lakhs thirty thousand only) was transferred to awardees through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) by Minister, O. Lukhoi Singh during the occasion.

The Best State and District Level Farmers were selected based on the success story submitted by the Concerned Project Director ATMA Districts. Best ATMA Districts were also selected based on the activities/works done in all the agriculture & allied sectors as per ATMA guidelines. The Award for Incentive for Exemplary Extension Work was selected based on the performance among the ATMA Extension Functionaries during the year with a view to bridge the gap of lab and land.

Addressing the gatherings as Chief Guest, Minister Lukhoi expressed that such recognitions will encourage the farmers to increase their production in a specialised manner under the supervision of efficient scheme officers and officials. In this way, the agriculture sector and farmers will become self-reliant and contribute to the economy of the state, the Minister asserted. He further mentioned that with the advancement of technology and specialised skills in the agriculture sectors, there will be a massive improvement in the production of agricultural products and also its allied sectors. 

Director, Agriculture, Laltanpuii Vanchhong informed that the State Agricultural Management Extension and Training Institute (SAMETI-Manipur) has been organizing the State Agriculture Fair since 2008. This year, the State Agricultural Fair, 2021 was organized by the SAMETI- Manipur as a part of MAI-OWN Exhibition, 2021 from March 16 to 22, 2021 at Imphal. The main objectives of the Fair are to disseminate the latest Technology, showcase the innovative activities and products etc., she added.

Commissioner, Agriculture Department (Link), Gyan Prakash Singh and Director, Agriculture, Laltanpuii Vanchhong graced the occasion as President and Guest of Honour respectively. Also Project Officers, officials of the Department were part of the ceremony.

It may be noted that Support to State Extension Programme for Extension Reforms known as ATMA Scheme is a continuous Centrally Sponsored Scheme implemented in the state since 2005-06 and it covers 9 Districts and 60 blocks.

IT News
Imphal, Mar 22:

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign via video conferencing, Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh also launched the State Chapter of the campaign at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
The Chief Minister together with Water Resources Minister Shri Letpao Haokip, Public Health Engineering Minister Losii Dikho, Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary Letkhogin Haokip, and other high-ranking officials of the State Government watched the live streaming of the nation-wide launch of the campaign at Cabinet Hall.
N. Biren Singh instructed the officials to form a joint committee of the Water Resources Department, PHED, and Minor Irrigation for the successful implementation of the campaign that will continue from 22nd March 2021 to 30th November 2021 to get rid of water scarcity in the next dry season. He also directed them to bring the local self-government into confidence so that Prime Minister’s instructions are translated into action at maximum level and make the campaign a success.
The Chief Minister also released a booklet titled, ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ published by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations at the occasion. A short video on water conservation was also screened during the function. Later, the Chief Minister administered Water Pledge to the gathering to conserve and use water judiciously.
The campaign will be undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas, with the theme “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”. It will be launched as a Jan Andolan to take water conservation at the grassroots level through people’s participation. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater.
Gram Sabhas will be held in all Gram Panchayats of each district (except in the poll-bound States) to discuss issues related to water and water conservation. Gram Sabhas will also take ‘Jal Shapath’ (Water Pledge) for water conservation.

IT News
Imphal, Mar 22:

The age-old delicacy and popular amongst the people of the State, Hentak (fermented fish paste) which is a flavor enhancer and used as a condiment needs special promotion and assistance for its survival in the globalised world where different kinds of cuisines are readily available for consumption. On the sixth day of the on-going Mai-Own 2021 Exhibition at Hapta Kangjeibung, Imphal, the stall displaying the traditional flavor enhancer ‘Hanubi Hentak’ from Ingkhol Loupuk Farm, Andro Awang Leikai. Imphal East, Manipur is captivating the visitors at the exhibition.
Hentak which finds its place in the Manipuri folklore continues to excite the palate of the people. The traditional method of making Hentak begins with catching and sun drying the small fish, commonly known as Ngasang and Ngapemma for about 3 months. The sun-dried fish are then pounded with the addition of Hongu (alocasia plants), oil among others to make a thick paste known as Hentak.
The interaction with the proprietor of the Hanubi Hentak, Salam Jayenta from Andro Kharam Leikai, Imphal East. Speaking to DIPR, he said that the name Hanubi Hentak was given after the belief that Lord Naran Panganba inaugurated Misi Sumbal - a wooden pounding tool, in which a Chakpa Andro Priestess known as Hanu Langmai Amaibi pounded the hentak. In Andro, from time immemorial, Hentak is used in every dish and has not used the fermented fish known as ‘Ngari’ or ‘Utong-nga’, which is consumed widely in the state. There is also a belief that only married women should make the Hentak and it is obligatory that every married woman needs to have the knowledge of making the fermented fish paste, Hentak.
Salam Jayenta said that Hanubi Hentak, which was formally launched on March 15, 2021, started its production in the year 2016 and got the opportunity to exhibit the products for the first time in Mai-own 2021. From the first day of the exhibition, his sale proceeds per day are Rs. 4000/- approximately. He further said that at present his products have not been sold at any outlets or retailers except at Yelhoumee – a Departmental Store at Wangkhei Keithel Asangbi, Imphal East. Talks are on with retailers for mass selling the products, he added.
Speaking to DIPR about the challenges faced by the production team, Salam Jayenta said that the basic raw material ‘Ngasang, Ngakha, Ngapemma’ are hard to rear as they are mostly found in paddy fields and small ponds. Considering the health hazards, it is a problem to use the fishes caught from paddy fields as most of the farmers used fertilizers and insecticides which are harmful to health. He along with his partners is trying to rear the fish in a 15-hectare field by making ponds for mass production of Hanubi Hentak. The production unit located at Ingkhol Loupuk Farm, Andro Awang Leikai, has a total of 8 employees with time-to-time engagement of family members.
He further said that he has been able to make the journey in making ‘Hanubi Hentak’ after thorough research with the local elders who are experts in making the traditional Hentak. He further added that while processing Hentak, he has not used any fermenting agents except a small amount of water even though people use different ingredients such as Hongu (alocasia plants), onions as fermenting agents. Regarding financial assistance, he said that he started his work by contributing small amounts with his partners. To date, he has not got any financial assistance under any Government schemes or banks. He has also not applied for any kind of assistance but has visited the Fishery Department for fish rearing techniques and know-how of the nutritional values of the fishes used in producing Hentak. He said that he ventured into this road of making Hentak for the promotion of the traditional cuisine which is passed down from one generation to the next.
Salam Jayenta expressed his desire for assistance from the State Government or concerned authorities which will help in preserving and promoting the traditional cuisine which is unique to the State. He also said that it will be helpful if the experts from the concerned department share knowledge on the rearing technique of the rare species of fishes particularly used in producing Hentak which has been replaced by Ngari or Utong-nga for the sake of future generation.

IT News
Imphal, Mar 21:

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh today inspected the Sewerage Treatment Plant of Nambul River which is under construction at Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai. The Chief Minister was accompanied by Forest and Environment Minister Shri Awangbow Newmai and Officials of the Environment Department.
CM N. Biren Singh expressed satisfaction with the work in progress of the construction. Around 60 percent of the construction work had been completed till now and is expected to complete before March 2022.
Addressing the media, N. Biren said that the Sewerage Treatment Plant was being constructed as a part of Rejuvenation and Conservation of Nambul River under the National River Conservation Plan. Under the treatment plant, sewerage and waste drained out from places along the Nambul River would be pipelined to the treatment plant and after distillation, the water could be drained to the Nambul River or provided for irrigation to paddy lands around the plant, he added. He further informed that a retaining wall would be constructed along the river near the treatment plant.
He raised concerns about the pollution level of the Nambul River due to the flow of wastage from places along the riverside and its effect on polluting the Loktak Lake and the habitat of Sangai. Informing that the State Home Department had started conducting a mass drive to keep every river of the State clean and unpolluted before the arrival of the rainy season, he appealed to the public to give support in such a drive to keep the environment clean.
It may be mentioned that the Sewerage Treatment Plant is being constructed at an estimated cost of around 97.72 crore Rupees and has a capacity of 16 Million Litre per Day (MLD).
Later, the Chief Minister attended a Mega Cleaning Campaign for saving the environment under the name “Save Nambul, Save Environment” organised by Mongshangei Kanba Apunba Lup.
Addressing the gathering, he appreciated the Mongshangei Kanba Lup for its voluntary contribution towards keeping the Nambul River and the environment clean and safe. He also appealed to the public to come up and contribute their parts in keeping the environment clean for the future generation. 
Forest and Environment Minister Awangbow Newmai and MLA Karam Shyam also attended the cleanliness campaign among others.

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