Efforts on to boost agri-horti sector: Khandu


PASIGHAT, 26 Dec: Stating that 70 to 80 percent of the state’s economy is based on agriculture and horticulture, Chief Minister Pema Khandu urged farmers to work with dedication to improve their household economy through agriculture and allied activities.

Addressing a group of more than 200 progressive farmers who gathered in the auditorium of the College of Horticulture and Forestry here in East Siang district to witness the release of the next installment of financial benefit under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) Yojana through videoconference on Friday, Khandu said more than 98,000 farmers of the state have been covered under the PM-Kisan Yojana.

Under the PM-Kisan Yojana, income support of Rs 6,000 per annum is provided to all eligible farmer families across the country in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each every four months.

“The state government paid additional amount of Rs 1,000 to each farmer beneficiary during the Covid-19 lockdowns,” he said.

The CM said the state government has initiated various measures to boost the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

“We are targeting to irrigate around seven lakh hectares crop fields under the PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana in the coming years, for which Rs 17,000 crore will be required,” Khandu said.

The CM approved the proposals for construction of four warehouses – one each in Pasighat, Namsai, Kimin and Bhalukpung – and cold storages in selected places through central government funds.

East Siang DC Dr Kinny Singh informed that 4,722 farmers have registered their names under the PM-Kisan scheme in the district and 2,919 farmers have already availed the benefit. She urged the farmers to come forward and avail the benefits under the scheme.

Khandu was accompanied by Lok Sabha member Tapir Gao and MLAs Kaling Moyong, Ninong Ering and Lombo Tayeng.

The programme coincided with the Good Governance Day, which is celebrated annually on 25 December to mark the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Namsai DIPRO adds: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein also participated in the PM’s videoconference from Namsai.

Later, addressing the farmers, Mein highlighted the advantages of the recently passed farm bills, which he said would “give freedom to the farmers and the choice to sell their crops directly anywhere in the country.”

Acknowledging the challenges faced by the FPOs of the district, the DCM assured of support to the farmers.

Emphasizing on facilitating free and open trade, he asked the Namsai DC to consult with his Tinsukia (Assam) district counterpart in the matter.

The matter of GI registration of the Khamti lahi rice in collaboration with the Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat, was also discussed. A team from Namsai will head to AAU tentatively by 7 January 2021 to speed up the process, he informed.

The Namsai DC and the ADC, HoDs of the agriculture and allied sectors, ADOs, scientists from the KVK, CEOs of FPCs and FPOs, progressive farmers, and beneficiaries under the PM-Kisan scheme attended the meeting, which was held in the conference hall of the Namsai district secretariat.

L/Subansiri DIPRO reports: “The Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board (APAMB), which caters to the marketing issues of the agriculture and horticultural products of our farmers, will also buy, endorse and sell their products and byproducts like pickles, etc, from 2021 onwards,” informed Agriculture Minister Tage Taki here in Lower Subansiri district on Friday.

Taki was interacting with farmers after witnessing the release of an installment under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana live from New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Taki encouraged the small and marginal farmers to form FPOs to mobilize the collection and sale of vegetables. Also stressing the need to insure crops from unforeseen damages, he encouraged the farmers to opt for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

The PMFBY aims to provide a comprehensive insurance cover against failure of crop, thus helping in stabilizing the income of the farmers.

Taki also advised the farmers to avail the kisan credit card scheme “to meet their agricultural input expenditures.”

More than 5,070 farmers of Lower Subansiri district will benefit from the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.

DAO Tasso Butting, farmers from across the valley, and officials from the agriculture department witnessed the telecast.