Senapati: In sync with the state government campaign, “War on Drugs”, Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Senapati conducted an Awareness Programme Cum Distribution of Planting Materials under the scheme, “Cultivation of Horticulture Crops as an alternative to poppy cultivation in Hill Areas” in the presence of district administration at district headquarters, Senapati. 44 beneficiaries from the poppy growing areas of the district were given quality planting materials of turmeric and lemon.
“No area that grows poppy can be immune to its ill-effects. To make the effort a holistic approach, concerted efforts of all the stakeholders plays a pivotal role. Kindly make sustainable use of the planting materials and suggest suitable crops for policy intervention”, Mahesh Chaudhari, deputy commissioner while speaking on the occasion urged the beneficiaries of the scheme.
Thangkhonchon Haokip, the additional superintendent (Law and Order), Senapati expressed optimism that with the involvement of various line departments and civil organizations as a team, the campaign on “War on Drugs” will be huge success. “The men in uniform from Senapati are the forerunner of the initiatives. Our unit will make all efforts to ensure strict enforcement of the law without any relaxation. Those violating the guidelines will be dealt with stern action”, he said.
An attendee at the function who refused to be name shared that poppy cultivation brings in money that no other crop could match. He claimed that with poppy plantation, farmers make Rs 10 lakh from the same acreage of land where farmers earn Rs 2 lakh/acre a year by growing fruits and vegetables. He further stated that quick harvest, assured buy-back and unmatched returns on poppy is pushing the poor farmers to grow the crop despite the state’s crackdown. “If the government is really serious about the campaign to be a success, a careful diagnosis of the root cause and strategic planning is the antidote” he expressed.
The function concluded with an interactive session between the staff of the line department and the attendees.