The Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Senapati distributed winter vegetable seeds to selected beneficiaries of the district in a function held at Mao-Poumai Catholic Women hall, Senapati on Friday.
Th. Kirankumar IAS, Deputy commissioner, Senapati graced the occasion as the chief guest. The event was organized and attended by officials from the department of horticulture and soil conservation along with representatives of civil and social workers, selected horticultural beneficiaries of the district following COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.
The chief guest stressed on the importance of public participation and co-operation in combating COVID-19 pandemic while lauding the initiative of the department. “Horticulture is an art and science of our farmers since time immemorial. It must make a lucrative enterprise” Th. Kirankumar said.
The District administration will come up with strategic planning for undertaking soil testing program and field diagnostics assessment throughout the district for boosting sustainable horticulture production in the coming months”, he assured the congregation at the gathering.
A. Upendra Singh, the District Officer, Department of Horticulture and Soil Conservation said the seeds were distributed under the area expansion program of vegetables of MIDH, 2020-21 in line with Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Scheme, a vision of our Prime Minister for a self resilient India.
“Senapati with its undulating topography has huge potential for horticulture boom. Yet, we have not made real progress in the sector”, Athaipou Panmei one of the officials present opined.
“Agriculture education to facilitate and promote the transfer of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), leverage agriculture professionalism and agripreneurship is a niche area of comparative advantage neglected by the majority of the citizens where more thrust must be collectively concerted”, another official at the gathering lamented.
“One thumb rule fits all is a wrong concept. Our district has varied climatic condition ranging from the temperate, tropical and sub-tropical climate. Careful survey and mapping of the agro-climatic zone for crop suitability must be initiated if the government vision of doubling farmer’s income is to be a reality”, a research scholar present at the gathering suggested.
“The initiative would be a win-win intervention for the government and the stakeholders if there was a collaboration for the implementation of need-based”, a beneficiary at the event exclaimed.
“Timely agriculture information is the need of the hour and the department should make more efforts to play a pro-active role in extension through seminars, workshops, field demonstration, etc”, the chief guest added.
“The biggest drawback of the scheme is the mismanagement of time for synchronization of input availability at the right time. Planting the given seeds at this time of the year will not boost our income as the planting season is over now”, said one beneficiary of the seed, adding that “The government should not use the scheme as a publicity gimmick but make sincere efforts to transform the rural economy”.