Form policy to support agri-allied sectors

After being heavily criticized for the departments’ failure to respond to the vegetable crisis in the capital complex, Agriculture, Fisheries & Animal Husbandry Minister Tage Taki on Friday announced that the state government is coming up with a comprehensive plan to revamp all the government-owned farms in the state.
He was reacting to the ongoing shortage of vegetables, meat and fish in the capital region following the ban on importing these items from Assam due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Though it is a bit late, if the minister is true to his word, it will have a lasting impact on the economy of the state. At present, the majority of food supplies, including fresh vegetables, meat and fish, are imported.
The moment there is a blockade in Assam, the people struggle for food items. This dependence on Assam has been thoroughly exposed during the lockdown period. As the import of vegetable, fish and meat was banned, there was chaos in the capital region. Learning from this experience, the state government should formulate a proper policy to support the agri-allied sectors. The revamping of government farms will definitely help, but this is just a small step. There has to be a proper policy to help the farmers of the state. The APMCs can play a critical role in this regard. Most of the time, the farmers complain about lack of proper price. Therefore the government should use the APMCs to directly procure produces from the farmers. Then they can sell at wholesale rates to the shopkeepers. Also, there should be transparency in implementation of schemes related to agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry departments. The real farmers should benefit from the schemes. The distribution of schemes on political lines should be stopped.