IMPHAL, July 6: There are a number of educated but un-employed persons in the State, but there are those who innovate their resources and however meagre it is, manage to eke out a livelihood. One such example is Takhellemba Anand Singh, 27, son of T Yaima Singh of Nongdam Bazar , Imphal East.
Anand is married and has a daughter. He is educated but is unemployed. Due to certain financial constraints and inability to invest in any venture, Anand was not able to provide for his family at first.
He however owns a small tract of land which measures 30 by 15 square feet. This is a very small area as compared to any farm utilised for producing cash crops.
But, on June 17, he underwent a farmers training programme at Bangalore for five days at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research organised by the State Horticulture department.
The said program was participated by 25 farmers from the State inclusive of two officials of the concerned department.
At the training, Anand underwent through various training methods of planting cash crops.
But, when he returned, he had no means or facility of procuring a greenhouse which is essential for production of saplings. Undeterred, he planted around 500 saplings of the ghost chili U-morok, the cost incurred for the endeavor was around Rs 17,000 at the initial stage.
As his plantation area was small, there was no viability of producing the chili en masse. But, the plantation he undertook is not to produce the chili but to sell the plants.
The plantation he undertakes is to fertilise the soil and produce chilli saplings. After a maturation period of about a month or so, the sapling stands at a height of around 6 inches.
After careful attention of maintaining his saplings, he is able to sell the plants wholesale and there is no dearth of customers. He mentioned that he sells the plant according to its maturity. If a plant is small, then he charges around 50 Rs but if it is mature and has started bearing chilis, then it fetches a good price, Anand said.
He has been selling to customers for some time and has been approached by clients even from outside of Manipur. But, till date, he has not received any help from the State government.
The idea of planting chili came to him when he observed that the ghost chili was an essential part of the Manipuri cuisine.
At first, he had started a farm at a nearby hill at Nongdam, Punshi Nunshang Hingnakol Lamdai Chingol. He planted turmeric at the said area initially with expectations of getting financial returns. The plantation is still progressing till date and awaiting maturation.
What is interesting is that, his chili farming is totally organic and use bio-compost and vermi-compost.
He is aided by his family in taking care of the saplings, the daily watering, putting manure etc. is altogether a family job. His residence is located around 23 kilometres from Imphal city at Nongdam near Nongdam Bazar, Imphal East.