Time to start supporting local farmers

Bringing much relief to the people of the capital complex, the administration on Wednesday lifted the temporary suspension order on importing fresh vegetables, which had been issued on 3 April. The decision to ban the import of vegetables was taken following the report of several cases of Covid-19 positive in Assam. The unavailability of fresh vegetables and meat items made life miserable for the denizens of the capital. The arrival of fresh vegetables will be welcomed by everyone. The whole experience is a learning experience for everyone, including the state government. It shows the complete dependency on Assam for supply of fresh vegetables, meat and fish.

If Assam decides to stop supplying these items to Arunachal, the people will virtually starve. This is a wakeup call and it’s time the people took this issue very seriously. The overdependence on Assam even for fresh vegetables has the potential to land the state in trouble in future too, if there is some blockade in Assam. Learning from this fiasco, the state government should strengthen departments like agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry. So far, these departments have never been given proper attention by the state government. The government should allocate more funds and also formulate a proper policy to revamp them. At present, most of the schemes under agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry departments have been big failures. There is a huge market in the state for fresh vegetables, meat and fishes. At present, the outsiders are controlling the market. Its time the government extended support to the local farmers. Besides providing employment opportunities, it will also reduce our dependence on Assam.