Ukhrul: NEC Project under ‘Integrated Horticulture & Fisheries in NEH Region of India’, implemented by ICAR, Manipur Centre/KVK Ukhrul, at Ramvaa Hungpung was inspected by Dr DJ Rajkhowa, Joint Director, ICAR, NEH Region with his team of senior scientists. Their visit was to check the status of the project and to monitor it based on their findings.
“We have been to Arunachal. This is our visit to Manipur. Since morning, we are visiting the farmer’s field and seen the different infrastructures developed under this project and how farmers are getting benefits from this project. What is the present strength of different horticultural crops? What is the present status? All these things we are monitoring. I am very happy to see the farmers are getting benefit out of that,” said Dr DJ. Rajkhowa.
“The present government has been giving a lot of emphases, especially on the North-Eastern region for enhancing production productivity. The government is giving a lot of funds and resources in terms of scientific resources, for procurement and for building infrastructure for farming activities. But the success is in your hands. We will be very happy only if you succeed in our mission. There is a mission to improve productivity including horticulture and others.
There is one farmer who asked me in our meetings too. Why our production has not increased? He stated, there are three different reasons: 1) There is a lack of technology, 2) There is no financial support and 3) lack of farmers initiatives. Then I picked up the last one and I said, it’s because of the farmer’s lack of initiative. Farmers are not enhancing, not increasing. Because you have financial support from the government like how NEC is giving you good support. We are also providing technology. What else do you need? You need to have a farmers initiative. You should motivate more and more people from your village. Out of ten thousands population, if one thousand or two thousands are properly motivated and engage in farming, things will change in the future,” said SP Das, Principal Scientist, ICAR, NEH Region, Parabani, Shillong.
Interactive sessions were held with the farmers at the kiwi garden. “We are confused about what to do and what not to do to enhance productivity,” said one of the members of the Samayor Association. Dr Rojkhowa gave a pragmatic response to his query. He said, “Your district is said to be suitable for Kiwi. It can easily grow here. If the area can be expanded, you can also propose for the wine industry or tomorrow somebody will come to invest in kiwi wine. Kiwi is a very costly fruit.”
Recommendations were given to improve Kiwi farming. The need to maintain the spacing of kiwi plant while planting and processing after the harvest for better development of Kiwi in the region were pointed out. “Exposure is needed because there is mismanagement since the farmers lack the technical know-how. So KVK, Ukhrul or our institute at Lamphelpat can come here and assist them by giving training to the farmers and exposure visits can be organised. Another important aspect is pollination. Whether you have done it or not, but how many male and female plant is there? If there is no proper pollination there won’t be uniformity in size but all the Kiwi will be big if there is proper pollination,” Said Dr Verma, Scientist, ICAR, NEH Region, Parabani, Shillong.
To sort out the needs of the farmers, exposure trip for youth and farmers to Ziro, Arunachal was recommended to see their winery and how they are going global. The task to propose farmers exposure trip was assigned to Dr Solei Luiram, Hort. (Subject Matter Specialist), ICAR, Ukhrul for NEH Region.
Ramvaa integrated farming was started in 2018 by Samayor Association. It was founded in 1986 to promote organic farming for healthy and prosperous living as they believe in maintaining a healthy lifestyle through food which will cut down the cost of medical treatment to a great extend.
Integrated farming in our area is proving to be sustainable as well as cost-effective. If we have the resources to expand the farm with the right technical support and knowledge, it can serve as an alternative to the lack of employment for a lot of educated youths. We need more government agencies to assist farmers who are now young and educated,” said Ringphami Thingshung, CM Paul, Deputy Director, Sericulture, (Retd.).
Samayor Association has taken up various activities at Hungpung. Some of them are Khashimla Women Market Complex, Ramvaa Integrated Farm, Pilot Project of Low Chilling Apple, acknowledged by PM Modi at his Mann Ki Baat.
Agro Eco tourism is the next step for Ramvaa Integrated Farm. It is a 10 km drive from Dungrei, Hungpung, and is currently under construction. At Ramvaa, fishery, kiwi farm, large cardamom farm, lemon farm and indigenous fruits are practise.