TODAY -

15th State Level Pineapple Festival kicks off
Letpao moots commercialisation of crops to check poppy cultivation

Source: The Sangai Express

Moirang, August 19 2022: Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Letpao Haokip has said that commercialisation of high value plants in hill districts can check poppy cultivation which has become a burning issue in the State.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 15th State Level Manipur Pineapple Festival and Celebration of 75 Years of Pineapple Cultivation at Dr Kalam Ground in Churachandpur, the Minister continued that certain farmers opt to cultivate poppy as it is much easier to make money.

Opining that cultivating high value plants such as Cardamom and saffron in the hill areas would be more beneficial to the farmers as such crops are in high demand and can prevent soil degradation, Letpao urged all farmers who want to grow high value plants to approach the Government for assistance.

Saying that the majority of the youth prefer Government jobs over other professions in Manipur, the Minister added that people can earn substantial incomes as entrepreneurs by utilising the available land resources.

He also urged all the people in the hill district to not cut saplings as it takes years for a tree to grow.

Saying that deforestation for poppy plantation is detrimental to public health as many toxic chemicals are used, Letpao urged all to plant high value plants.

Letpao Haokip announced that a cold storage of 5 metric tonnes would be installed at Bunglon while another cold storage of 200 and 10 metric tonnes would be set up at T Vaisom and Khousabung to prevent food wastage.

Saying that Manipur is a naturally gifted fertile State, Letpao further appealed to all to use this fertile land which can grow varieties of plants and vegetables robustly.

"The vast areas covered by hills can be used as an economic booster if we have the right concept of cultivation," he added.

Health and IPR Minister Dr S Ranjan Singh said that the taste of the pineapple grown in Manipur is unique and it is being exported to other States and countries.

Social Welfare Minister H Dingo Singh, MLAs Letzamang Haokip, Janghemlung Panmei, Chinlunthang and Kumo Sha also attended the programme.

A monolith was also unveiled as a part of the festival.


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