Imphal: Chief Minister N Biren Singh Thursday reiterated his government’s firm commitment to making Manipur a drug-free state and said anyone found involved in this cartel will not be spared.
The Chief Minister also hinted at interference from certain organisations. He didn’t mention which organisations, but made it clear that the present government has the mandate of the people and will not succumb before the interest of few who are affecting the future of our youth.
Stating that the state government cannot remain silent anymore, the Chief Minister asserted that the NDPS Act has also been amended and steps are being taken up to de-recognise villages found involved in poppy plantation.
A government constituted committee is there to identify the number of houses in a village and which villages are involved in poppy plantation, said the Chief Minister, adding that if the need arises Hill Area Committee or Revenue Department or any other will be consulted.
Biren was speaking at the launching of the Direct Benefit Transfer for 18,000 registered farmers under the Horticulture Department for Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER), Phase- III (2020-23) at the Darbar Hall, CM’s Secretariat. There are altogether 25,000 farmers under Phase-III MOVCDNER, Manipur including 7000 farmers registered under Agriculture Department and 18,000 farmers under Horticulture Department.
Speaking as the chief guest of the programme, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh appreciated farmers taking up organic farming. He called on all farmers to focus on organic farming and support the government’s mission to convert the State into a total organic State within the next five years.
Stressing on the negatives of chemical fertilizers, the Chief Minister said chemical fertilizers affect our health. He further noted that organic farming is in fact easy as the preparation of organic manure using kitchen waste and leaf debris is quite easy.
He further expressed his belief to witness an increase in the number of farmers, production and areas covered under the scheme by next year.
Horticulture is very much related to livelihood and health, he said, explaining that the department provides livelihood avenues to uneducated youth and encouraging organic farming helps in improving the health of the people. The Horticulture department has a major role in making Manipur self-reliant, improving the State’s economy and health sector, he added.
Biren also warned of legal action against illegal encroachers and said the government will give one month’s time for them to come before the government.
Speaking about corruption, the Chief Minister also said that government recruitments will only be merit-based and there will be no corruption. He urged the people to be part of the change. He said that the DBT system hinders corruption and there is no harassment in the system.
Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister, Letpao Haokip said poppy plantation affects the society in two ways which are the drug menace in the society and deforestation in the hills. We cannot take this lightly, the Minister said.
The Minister also expressed the need to implement schemes by laying more emphasis on plantations which are more suitable to the State’s soil to ensure the successful implementation of the scheme.
The government under Chief Minister N Biren Singh has also assured all possible help in providing alternative sustainable livelihood to stop poppy plantation in the hills, he said adding that the department will have to take a pivotal role in the fight against poppy plantation.
He added that nature has been very generous to our State, but we are unable to use it.
Delivering the key-note address, Additional Chief Secretary, Horticulture and Soil Conservation, P. Vaiphei appealed to all farmers involved in poppy plantations to stop and come forward so that the government may provide all possible assistance or alternative farming programmes.
The launching programme was also attended by Horticulture and Soil Conservation Director, Honey Chara, and officials of MOMA, among others.
Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs. 11,250/- per farmer for the components of assistance for on-farm input for both first year and second year and for off-farm inputs production for first year was transferred to the individual registered farmer’s account today. Another Rs. 3750 will be transferred to the farmers in the next instalment.