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CM stresses on mentoring, handholding for farmers

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT

from a correspondent

Tura, May 9: A crucial meeting to take forward the proposed Agri-Horti Mission and Livestock Mission in Meghalaya on a new delivery model was today chaired by chief minister Mukul Sangma here.

It was participated by Chairperson of Meghalaya Resources & Employment Generation Council, Dikkanchi D. Shira, Co-Chairman, State Development Reforms Commission, Sengman Marak and presence of Commissioner & Secretary, C&RD and Deputy CEO, Meghalaya Basin Development Authority, P. Sampath Kumar.

The deputy commissioners of five Garo hills districts and officials of line departments attended the programme.

The agri-horti mission would benefit 3 lakh small farmers and agripreneurs.

Initiating the discussions, Mukul observed that most farmers in the region become farmers by default and said that these missions should be designed in such a way that will make farming attractive and all become farmers by choice. Despite coming up with these kind of programmes in the past getting the right kind of response from the people has always been a challenge, he said and called upon the departments to create an environment to generate enthusiasm and ambition amongst the farmers.

He reiterated on the crucial aspects of mentoring and handholding and making the format attractive to the farmers for effective implementation of the programme.

After going through the mission statement, vision and implementation plan presented by commissioner and secretary, P. Sampath Kumar, the chief minister pointed out the exercises that need to be done and scientific approach for sourcing the right kind of technology before going ahead with the Agri-Horti Mission. As far as optimum utilization of lands are concerned, he suggested for aggregating the lands of multiple land owners and all river basins for taking up plantations and also to identify jhum cultivators to be partners in the aggressive greening activity under the mission.

The chief minister was of the view that programmes can be conceptualized by anybody anytime, but he said, the main thing is achieving the desired results that are visible on the ground and called for aggregation of approach to make Agri-Horti and Livestock missions really effective and remunerative to the farmers. On creating brands and stories like Chibing for pineapples and Mangsang for rice as suggested by deputy commissioner of West Garo Hill Pravin Bakshi, the chief minister laid stress on scouting for potential entrepreneurs and said

that every district should have workshops to identify potential partners for carrying forward the programme successfully.

Suggestion was also given to have outlets for branded products from the state and to link them to bigger markets as is being done for apiculture.

He urged upon the officers as well as NGOs present to have joint discussions and come forward with suggestions to address the issues and challenges so that there would be no dislocation once the programmes are implemented. He also called for involvement of departments like Commerce & Industries, Fisheries and Khadi & Village Industries Board for actual aggregation and funneling of resources.

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