Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Tuesday said that the government has initiated the Farmers’ Parliament to understand the plight of the farming community and assist them through different pro-active policies.
He said that the government has envisioned creation of a “Farmer’s Commission” to address the concerns of the farming community and look at solution to tackle the problems being faced by them.
“Farmer’s Parliament is allowing the government officials and the policy makers to meet at a single platform to find out ways and measures to address the challenges affecting the farming community of Meghalaya,” said the Chief Minister at the First Farmer’s Parliament, organised by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with Meghalaya Basin Development Agency and Hill Farmers’ Union.
Admitting that there has been inherent problem with regards to infrastructure, logistics and market linkages, the Chief Minister said, “We have initiated different programmes to enable direct access to market and value addition to agriculture and horticulture products. However, it is important for us to hear the concerns of the farmers. We believe that through farmer’s parliament there will be direct engagement which will enable us to further develop our policies in sync with the needs of our farmers.”
He also told the farmers that the government intends to upscale the potential of the farming community through different innovative and marketing programmes. “We are collaborating with different institutions and research organizations to address the bottleneck in the effective implementation of existing government schemes as well as devise strategies to promote our agricultural products,” he added.
He informed that the government will support farmers to develop their products and help them through buy back policies. “We encourage farmers to develop innovative value added products with assurance that government will be willing to support them in every possible manner,” the Chief Minister emphasized.
The Chief Minister who had led a delegation to Sial, Paris, the world’s biggest food innovation exhibition also informed the farmers that Food Exhibition and Business Meet will be held in Meghalaya next year to provide a platform for business and technology transfer.
He also handed over the India Today award for the “Most Improved Small State in category of Agriculture” to Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh. “It is just the beginning as we go forward to position Meghalaya as an innovative State with full potential for development of agriculture and other allied sectors,” he added.