TODAY -

Stray cattle menace and food self-sufficiency goal
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: December 05, 2022 -



THE report of the Ministry of Commerce & Industries regarding the northeast region recording more than 85 per cent growth in the export of agricultural products in the last six years not only signifies the region's potential to promote plantation of agricultural and horticultural crops on commercial scale but should also spur the regional governments to frame and put into practice effective farming policies.

The state's farmers too should take heart from the ministry's report and adopt contemporary agricultural technologies and methods to increase the yield for rapid growth of the population would consequently mean ceaseless demand for food crops.

Till now with exception of Assam, all the other states are depending on fresh as well as factory- produced food items not to mention about the chronic dependence on the Union government for development of basic infrastructures.

As such, the ministry's report mentioning about revenue generated from export totalling $17.2 million in 2021-22 from just $2.52 million in 2016-17 and the region's products reaching neighbouring Bangladesh and Bhutan, oil-rich countries in the Middle East and the economically advanced European countries imply that the food producers need not worry about marketing.

With all the north-eastern states able to make a mark in the export of agricultural produce it could be conveniently predicted that with technical and material support from the regional governments, the mountainous northeast could be significant contributors in achieving the Union government's self-reliant goal in all aspects.

Considering the fact that various agencies are also proactively involved in guiding the farmers and exporting their produce, there is no reason why the region can't compete in the race for development.

That the region has immense potential in doing away with the dependency syndrome could be comprehended from agencies like the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) extending technical and logistic support through consistent engagement with the farmers in the form of conducting training programmes and introducing the region's agricultural produce to different countries.

While it is obvious that APEDA and other central technical institutions wouldn't relent from continuous guidance to the farmers and in handling the export aspect, it is heartening that civil societies like UCM, which earlier used to be generally engrossed in socio-politically sensitive issues, have been joining hands with various government departments to improve the local economy with primary focus on enhancing the food production.

Regardless of the frequent references to the erstwhile thriving economy of the then kingdom of Manipur to inspire the masses that attaining the goal of self-sufficiency in food grain is not impossible, neither the government nor UCM or any other organisations pitying with the state's protracted dependence on others shouldn't ignore the fact that the number of consumers have been grown exponentially and mere distribution of crop seeds and words of encouragement to the farmers will not make much of a difference impact unless there is improvement in the irrigation facilities or the age-old practice of letting loose cattle after the paddy crop is harvested.

As the latter problem had been recently intimated to deputy commissioner of Thoubal district by a farmers' body, it is hoped that the grievance of the food producers would be accorded importance by the authorities concerned failing which adoption of modern technologies and provision of high yielding crop seeds can't guarantee food grain yield to meet the growing demand.



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