The state government had submitted Rs 260-crore proposal to the Centre for the construction of groundwater pumping sites for irrigation purposes at different parts of Manipur, stated chief minister N Biren Singh.
Biren was speaking at the Anganphou Hunba (Sowing of first crop paddy) programme organised by Arapti Urup Farmers’ Association under the supervision of Keirao Assembly Constituency MLA L Rameshwor at Arapti Mayai Leikai Tanakha Pat in Imphal East district on Thursday.
Embarking on the idea of making Manipur a self-reliant state in food grains production, the chief minister along with MLAs L Rameshwor and Md Abdul Nasir sowed the first handful of paddy seeds to mark the beginning of farming first crop paddy for this year.
Farming of RCM-12 rice variety would be done in around 20 hectares of Urup and Arapti while wheat would be grown in around 10 hectares.
Continuing his speech, the chief minister said the state can save a huge amount of money giving a boost to the economy if Manipur can reduce import of food grains and other essential items from other states.
Biren also mentioned that there is need to encourage using of items produced in the state so that money is not drained out.
Stating that proper irrigation is necessary to enhance agriculture and horticulture produces, the chief minister said Rs 260-crore proposal had been submitted to the Centre for construction of groundwater pumping sites.
Biren also said that around new 250 check dams would be constructed and River Lift Irrigation (RLI) schemes located at different parts of the state would be made fully functional.
Meanwhile in another function held at Manipur Sericulture Project Management Complex, Sangaipat in Imphal East, the chief minister distributed Rs 11,18,54,800 to 1,300 beneficiaries of Integrated Sericulture Development Project (ISDP).
He also transferred a total amount of Rs 7,41, 12,000 to the bank accounts of 1,000 beneficiaries of valley districts through DBT and handed over a cheque of Rs 3,77,42,800 to the managing director of Manipur State Co-operative Bank Ltd., A Subhash for further distribution to 300 beneficiaries of hill districts.
The beneficiaries would utilise this amount in the plantation of silkworm food plants and construction of rearing houses. He also handed over 150 motorised cum pedal operated spinning machines to 60 different Self Help Groups and 30 individual farmers under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) at the function.
Speaking at the occasion, the chief minister said that sericulture is suitable to the soil of Manipur and the state can gain dividends through this sector.
Stating that the plants which are used as feeds for silkworms attain maturity in three years, he said that there is no need for extra care if these plants once attain maturity. Vast tracks of fertile land in hill areas are left in waste while some parts are being planted poppies, the Sericulture department should impart awareness about the benefits of growing these silkworm-food plants in place of poppy in hill areas, he added.