Farmers` fair held to enhance better rice production

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IMPHAL, Nov 11: One day “Field day on Rice cum Farmers` Fair” was held today at ICAR, Lamphelpat.

The programme was attended by agriculture minister, Dr. S.V. Ngachan, director, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, and L. Palandro Singh, agriculture director as the chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

Dr. N. Prakash, joint director , ICAR Manipur Centre, Lamphelpat was also on the dais. Dignitaries, namely Prof M. Premjit Singh, director of Extension Education, CAU, K. Sharatkumar Singh, director, Fisheries, Dr. Kh. Somorendra Singh, director, Institute of Cooperative Management, Th Iboyaima Singh, father of social work, other district level officers from various state departments, professors from Central Agriculture University and representatives from NGO`s were also present in the occasion.

About 200 farmers from different districts of Manipur participated in the function. In the farmers` fair, five KVK`s including farmers exhibited various agricultural produces and local germplasms. Among the exhibits, KVK Churachandpur was rated as the best KVK.

Dr. N. Prakash, Joint Director, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Manipur Centre welcomed all the dignitaries and farmers. Critical inputs like pre-released paddy seed (variety RCM 13), chicks (breed Vanaraja), fish fingerlings, mustard seed (M-27), garden pea seed (variety Arkel) were distributed to the farmers.

L. Palandro Singh stated that Manipur ranked 8th position in all India level during the 10th Plan, however the state is in deficient of 65,000 MT. This can be overcome if we can increase pre-kharif rice grown area (first crop) upto 10,000 ha and SRI (System of Rice Intensification) method is followed wherever possible. He asked the farmers to grow mustard after rice using zero tillage method which is now widely and successfully adopted in Maklang areas of Imphal West for which seeds are available in plenty in Agriculture Department. Organic farming cannot be taken up on mass scale. So balanced use of fertilizers should be followed

In his presidential address, Dr. S.V. Ngachan gave more emphasis on integrated approach of various farming systems and linkages of various line departments to achieve self sufficiency in food production . Citing an example, ICAR have a new Tribal Support programe under National Initiative on Cilmate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) which can be adopted in upland areas where farmers face water scarcity problems for irrigation. Our scented rice (chakhao) is not less nutritious on chemical analysis than Japanese varieties which sell at Rs.400 per Kg in Delhi. Our farmers and functionaries have to be informative to explore markets. He also added that to solve seed scarcity problems, concerned departments should take up seed production programmes with farmers.

Minister Parijat encouraged the farmers for their profession so as to bring respect to their so called ` blue coloured community`. It should be made known that without them, others cannot survive.

He enlisted role of ICAR for betterment of farmers of this state. He mentioned that the prizes of State Level Competition have been raised to Tractor, power tiller apart from cash prizes to encourage farmers for higher production. He also asked the farmers to follow organic farming on home scale whatever possible from health point of view.

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