Fake farmers denting food crop productivity: Dir

IMPHAL,16th Oct: Admitting that fake farmers are getting benefits meant for farmers, agriculture director Ph Rajendro Tuesday said that registration of fake farmers for agricultural schemes has become a hurdle in augmenting food crop productivity of the state. Rajendro was speaking as chief guest of the World Food Day observance held under the theme ‘Our actions are our future: A zero hunger world by 2030’ at the training hall of directorate of agriculture near Sanjenthong here on Tuesday.

The government has been taking up various welfare schemes for the farmers with the objective to increase food productivity. Under these schemes, several agricultural inputs are being distributed to farmers. Unfortunately, maximum of the benefits reach fake farmers, who register themselves as farmers while genuine farmers are deprived of these benefits due to lack of awareness or interest in registering themselves for the schemes. This resulted in failure of the schemes in increasing food productivity, Rajendro said.

Citing example of such a situation, the director said that every year, the government provides fertilisers at subsidised rate to farmers. However, the real farmers are always forced to buy fertilisers at higher rate from the market while the fertilisers at subsidised rate are possessed by fake farmers. In order to prevent such situation in future, the department is planning to take up a special initiative to register real farmers under the department. The registration process will be carried out through district agriculture officers, sub-divisional agriculture officers and block level agriculture officers. The department will give priority to group of farmers rather than individuals, he said.

He appealed to the farmers to adopt the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method to increase crop yield. He also urged the farmers to register themselves, get soil health cards and put more emphasis on adopting organic farming. He also highlighted the benefits of forming farmers’ interest group while urging farmers to strive towards making Manipur self-reliant in food. Stressing the need for sincerity of officials in improving crop yield in the state, Rajendra also urged the department officials to put more efforts in mobilising the farmers for the future of the state.

New techniques of farming should also be adopted by farmers in view of shrinking of farmland in the state, he added. He further informed that the department is taking up 11 schemes for farmers in the state. Maximum of farmers are not aware of these schemes and it is the role of the department officials to create awareness among the farmers. Officials in hill areas should also take up initiative to publish details of the schemes in the local dialect in order to make the local farmers aware of the benefits, he said while adding that the schemes will bring nothing good if they do not reach the targeted population. Agriculture joint director Y Shyam, executive engineer Th Dilip and district agriculture officers also attended the event.

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