Imphal, June 20:
Many farmers of the state now are reluctant to sell their product to the Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), which the Chief Minister of Manipur had launched for marketing during the pandemic, as the farmers face inconveniences.
On the other hand Aromatic black rice, the Manipuri Chakhao, which the MOMA is supposed to promote could not get its place in the UNDP report as Chanduali in Uttar Pradesh is producing much more than Manipur. Officially Manipur has around 2000 hectares of field where the Chakhao plantation is going on.
In connection with the marketing policy handed over by the Government of Manipur to this agency which is meant for promotion of specific organic product only, Farmers from Bishnupur district said that during the 2nd wave pandemic and after the Chief Minister had announced to procure as much vegetable products from farmers, none of the officials of the MOMA and its marketing agencies as well as any of the volunteers of the service providers selected by the expert committee have contacted and enquired about the vegetable products , which the farmers of the area are facing difficulties in selling due to the lockdown and curfew imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In May this year I contacted the project director of the MOMA and requested to buy some of the vegetable which they produced but could not be sold due to the present situation”, the farmer who did not want to reveal his name while publication of the news report said that they collected around 1(one) ton of vegetable such as brinjal , lady fingers, Carrot etc. on May month. Those in the store who were supposed to make payment for the vegetable told them to unload it and sent them back without payment of the vegetable after lifting it. Later the amount was paid after around 4/5 days.
“We have sold the vegetable to the government initiated market at low price without bothering our loss, but as we have to even pay the transport fare , we have decided not to sell it”, the farmer said.
He further adds that the place at Bishnupur district where they are farming is still going on and there are lot of carrot and lady fingers and other vegetables. Some people came and we sold at whole sale rate so that the vegetable don’t go wasted.
However, there is a loss of around 50% while selling it. “We don’t mind it, it is pandemic time and we are ready to help people no matter how many are lost”, the farmer said and also added that the loss has been adjusted with our labour.
The main motives of the Chief Minister to open a home delivery market was to make sure that people gets vegetables for their kitchen plus to support the farmers who are helpless in selling the product. The idea is to procure vegetable from local farmers.
However, there are reports of the MOMA authority procuring vegetables from outside the state.
Farmers from Pourabi, Kanglasiphai and the adjoining village too are having the same fate with those of the farmers in Bishnupur district. Lot of pumpkins, Chives and others are now likely to be wasted as no authority from the MOMA contacted them to procure it.
A farmer today loaded all the vegetable and distributed it to many people whom they know without taking money saying that this could help friends and people in need survive during this pandemic.
Like MOMA market, it is not about buying from farmers and selling it with profit, it is about making people stay out of hunger and particularly to those families who have no Smartphone to procure kitchen needs and who could just afford with few money they have.