TODAY -

World Food Day : Govt, NGOs see things differently
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 16 2012: Along with observance of the World Food Day today at Food Processing Training Hall, Porompat (Imphal East), a three-day seminar organised by Association of Food Scientists and Technologists India, Manipur Chapter commenced at the same venue.

The Day was also observed by seven NGOs at the premises of Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur.

speakers at the observance pointed out that in the name of development mega projects are being taken up which ultimately affect livelihood of several thousands of people consequent to submergence of large area of cultivation, shrinkage of arable land, forest and water sources, crippling income generation sources, land confiscation and wide-scale displacement of people from their homestead lands.

Rather than ameliorate economic hardships besetting majority of the Manipur populace, implementation of mega projects without due approval of the people to be affected by the projects only compound their miseries, noted the speakers.

The observance cum seminar at Porompat is being held under the sponsorship of State's Department of Commerce and Industries.

speaking at the occasion, president of the event host M Tonjao highlighted global impact caused by shortage of food and cited Food and Agriculture Organisation's report that each year a man needs about 210 kilogram of food-items.

with regard to Manipur the quantity of rice required per annum, according to statistical report, is about 527 lakh tonne contrary to which the State can produce only 325 lakh tonne, said the president who conveyed that aim of the Association to observe the global event is to encourage the farmers enhance food item production and stocking of the food grains in a proper manner.

He also advocated that Manipur needs to have well maintained food grain storage facilities in order to prevent loss of seasonal food crops.

The World Food Day observance was held with Commerce and Industries Minister Govindas Konthoujam and former Vice Chancellor of Manipur university Dr H Tombi Singh as the chief guest and president respectively.

Additional Director (Com & Ind) V Tualthang and the department's former Director Dhiraj Yumnam also graced the occasion as the guests of honour.

The first day of the seminar had resource persons deliberate on issues concerning post harvest storage and processing of fish and meat, nutritive value of processed and unprocessed meat and fish.

apart from agricultural experts, the seminar was also attended by farmers and students.

The second day will feature deliberations related to potential for setting up of food processing units; licensing and registration of food processing unit under Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 and Rules 2011; potential for setting up fruits and vegetable industries for rural development; potential for setting up consumer food industries; prospect and potential of diary industries in Manipur; retention/preservation of nutritive value in processed food, etc.

The seminar would conclude with subject experts elaborating on 'modernisation of Huller rice mill; products utilisation of rice mill; and nutritive value of rice and rice products' .

Meanwhile, the observance by seven NGOs adopted various resolutions including demands to formulate policies for protecting all arable land, forest and wetlands in Manipur; stop land grabbing in Manipur and stop all forced eviction without consent of the affected communities; stop mortgage and transfer of land to corporate bodies; no mega development projects in the State without prior and informed consent of indigenous people; abandon Chakpi Dam, Tipaimukh Dam and oil exploration and drilling in Manipur; promote local indigenous rice, edible plant species and production; protect local fishermen's rights and promote local fish species; repeal Loktak Lake Protect Act 2006 and formulate Manipur fishermen's Rights and Welfare Act; reactivate/resume the Expert Committee for Mapithel Dam; and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recommendations of World Commission on Dams 2000 .

Representatives of Citizens Concern for Dams and Development Dr RK Ranjan, Chakpi Dam Committee's Francis and Joykumar, Honrei Kasar of Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers' Organisation, Oinam Rajen of All Loktak Lake Fishermen's Union, Jiten Yumnam of Committee on Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur and Maibam Nganbileima, one of the victims of the forced eviction at Lamphel Yaipha Leikai highlighted anti-people impacts of various projects being initiated by the Government in the State.


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