Shillong: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma declared December 4 as Meghalaya Farmers Day during the inaugural function of the 2nd Farmers Parliament which was held at SMELC, Dakopgre in Tura in the presence of Thomas A Sangma, adviser to the Chief Minister and officials of the various departments. While addressing a huge gathering of officials and farmers from the region including Khasi Hills and participants from Bangladesh, Conrad congratulated the team and the department for making the event a successful one. Emphasizing on the different issues and challenges being faced by the farmers of the region and in order to look after these issues as demanded by the public and farmers of the State, the Farmers Commission has been instituted by the Government of Meghalaya whereby the first Farmers Parliament was held in Shillong last year.
Moreover, he stated that most of the time, farmers do not receive information about various schemes implemented by the Central and State Governments and thereby miss out on the opportunities. Therefore, through this Farmers Parliament the government aims to inform the farmers and provide these benefits to them, he added.
Further, the Chief Minister also mentioned that various schemes have been implemented by the State Government such as the Jackfruit Mission which was launched last year with an estimated cost of Rs 78 crore, the Milk Mission, which has been implemented by the Government of India and NCDC with an estimated amount of Rs 221 crore for training and other financial assistance to dairy farmers for increase in milk production in the State.
Mentioning about the producers of local wine from the fruits available in the region and in order to encourage and promote it as an industry in the future, the government will be preparing a policy to legalize the Meghalaya Fruit and Wine Policy in the State, he said. He also informed that local entrepreneurs of the region would be sent for training to Kerela and Tamil Nadu in January next year.
Stating that the 1st Farmers Parliament was held on December 4 last year and in order to mark the day and remember its significance, the Chief Minister announced that 4th December will be declared as Meghalaya Farmers Day, while the year 2020 will be declared as “Year of the Farmers” by the Government of Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Farmers Commission, KN Kumar informed that the Farmers Commission aims to address the gap in the support system of the government machinery for the farmers and also emphasized on the solutions which the farmers can cater from the Farmers Parliament.
Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Government of Meghalaya Dr P Shakil Ahmed, Dr Walter De Boef, Board and Member, AG Connectors, Netherlands, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills Ram Singh, District Agriculture Officer, Tura M D Arengh, president of Bangladesh Organic Products Manufacturers Association, Muhammed Abdus Salam, president, HFU, Meghalaya Commander Shangpliang were among others who spoke during the inaugural function.
In the technical session that followed, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Tura Paulette A Sangma explained in detail about the Jackfruit Mission, Assistant Manager, Shillong Milk Union, Shillong Balrang A Sangma delivered a lecture on Milk Mission while Director, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department, Shillong Dr C Shilla spoke about the Piggery Mission being implemented in the State.
Earlier in the function, the chief guest also distributed the Best Farmers’ Awardees Certificate to the farmers of Garo Hills region.