TODAY -

'Only records, no field works'
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 31 2017: "There are records of Horticulture Department cultivating ginger, turmeric, U-Morok etc at different places but I've no idea where these cultivations are done", stated Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Th Shyamkumar in the State Assembly today while discussing a demand of Rs 81,63,35,000 pertaining to the department.

Such sloppy implementation of projects/schemes would not be tolerated any more.

The Government would first identity horticulture suitable to the soil textures of Tamenglong, Ukhrul, Chandel and other hill districts before cultivating different horticulture crops.

Opposition MLAs Dr Chaltonlien Amo, D Korungthang and Alfred Kangam Arthur lamented that the Government has not been implementing horticulture policy in hill districts.

Contending that Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department has been implementing very little programmes/ projects in hill districts, the MLAs raised policy cut motions.

Being related to the global climate change, Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department is one key department of the Government, Shyamkumar said.

During the last fiscal year 2016-17, the State Government allocated only Rs 35 crore for the department.

Out of the total allocated amount, only Rs 10 crore was utilised.

But again, no utilisation certificate was submitted which meant the State Government could not obtain the remaining amount of Rs 25 crore.

Some of the key programmes being implemented by Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department are Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) .

With the State Government unable to submit utilisation certificates for many of the schemes taken up under these programmes, the next instalment of funds was not released.

Even though this year's budget allocation for Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department is not very little, the same can be utilised fruitfully, Shyamkumar said.

Additional funds would be sought from the Centre and extra funds would be invested in U-Morok cultivation.

Incentives would be given to farmers after spot verification, he continued.

The State Government has submitted a proposal for extensive plantation of bamboo in the hill areas of Manipur to the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

For preservation of horticulture produces which go waste due to absence of marketing/transport facilities, a sum of Rs 78 lakh has been sanctioned for construction of a cold storage at Andro, Shyamkumar informed the House.

Implementation of horticulture schemes would be monitored using geo-technology, announced Chief Minister N Biren.

To take up different projects, around Rs 22 crore has been earmarked for Horticulture and Soil Conservation in this fiscal year.

The Government has also been considering to couple the proposed cold storage with a solar power plant so as to avoid the problem of power shortage or failure, Biren added.


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