IMPHAL | Nov 20 : Expressing serious concern over the raising health problem among the public, MAHUD minister Th. Shyamkumar observed that it could be due to intake of harmful food and unhealthy agricultural practices.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural function of organic outlet at the directorate of horticulture and soil conservation, government of Manipur Sajenthong here today.
Shyamkumar said, “Though we have a small population comparatively with other states, the growing number of private hospitals is a worrisome health indicator. It seems there is something wrong in our agricultural sector.”
The prices of organic products are costlier than chemically fertilized agricultural product, however, the risk of causing health hazard is minimal, he said.
Expressing a deep concern about the challenges that are being faced by farmers, he continued that any welfare schemes that are only meant for farmers should be farmer-friendly otherwise it is of no use. And to make the product available easily he advised the department to plan for home delivery service and open a website for the online shopping.
President of today’s function, additional chief secretary of agriculture and adult education government of Manipur, Suhel Akhtar pointed out that farmers who practice organic farming usually face many hurdles as the input cost is higher than the selling price.
“People have to spend more money in buying organic product. Hence most of the people opt for cheaper product. This led to reduction in production of organic produces,” he said.
Further Suhel continued creating awareness about the health and environment benefit of organic farming, maintaining fine balance of demand and supply of produces and to give training to farmers are the mandatory steps to be taken up by the department concerned and government. Unless these steps are taken up the mission for organic cultivation will not be successful, he maintained.
Initially this organic outlet will run by the Garden Care, a service provider engaged for implementation of Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) schemes under the supervision of Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA). It is the first shop of organic products in Northeast India.
Both fresh and processed organic products of vegetables, fruit, spices etc are available in the outlet. So far 5000 organic farmers are registered under MOMA.
Other dignitaries who attended the function are additional chief secretary (horticulture and soil conservation and home) J. Suresh Babu and director directorate of horticulture and soil conservation AK Kipgen.
Source: Imphal Free Press