GUWAHATI: State Agriculture Minister Atul Bora has said that creating an ambience for commercialization of agriculture so as to make it a profitable occupation is what his department has been banking on.
The State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department's Regional Livestock and Poultry Show, 2021 was inaugurated at Khanapara in Guwahati on Monday. The show will continue till February.
Addressing the show as the chief guest, Bora said, "The government is aiming to form an 'Atmanirbhar Assam'. Modern farming is not restricted to production of only paddy and grains. Modern farming is competitive and we are moving forward with a vision to make it a profession in Assam. It is welcome that the new generation is entering the agriculture sector. We are also trying to curb the interference of middlemen in the farmers' produce.
"This government has been working for various livestock schemes. By now, the government has completed the reconstruction of 107 veterinary hospital complexes, 50 veterinary hospitals, 78 veterinary sub-centres, four sub-divisional veterinary offices and nine district veterinary offices by spending Rs 117.37 crore. It has approved the goat breeding policy, pig breeding policy and the private investment policy. It has also made arrangements for 11 strategy papers and six SOPs (Standard Operational Procedures)."
Chief Minister's media adviser Hrishikesh Goswami said, "Agriculture is the best culture. Farming is done by making a relation with the soil."
Talking about the livestock show, Assam Livestock and Poultry Corporation (ALPCO) chairman Manoj Saikia said that after 24 years, it was held at a national level in 2019.
"Due to COVID-19 outbreak, the Livestock show was not held in 2020. This year, it is being held at regional level," said Saikia.
Highlighting the role of ALPCO during the lockdown, Saikia said, "Around 2,000 literate unemployed youths were engaged in the sale of meat and eggs in Guwahati during the lockdown. All across the State, a total of 6,000 unemployed youths were engaged. However, after the COVID situation was improved, they were on the verge of losing employment. At that time, under the initiative of ALPCO, 52 retail sale counters were opened across the city to engage them."
Saikia asserted that if the government's plans are successfully implemented, the youths will not have to hunker after government jobs.
"During the outbreak of bird flu, there were reports of probable scarcity meat in the State. Assam requires 60 to 70 lakh kg of poultry meat a month. However, it produces 180 lakh kg of poultry meat every month. Assam also exports meat to Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh," Saikia added.
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