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Rio laments poor farm productivity

Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, NOV 17 (NPN)
Published on 18 Nov. 2012 12:36 AM IST
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CM distributes tractors to 53 beneficiaries

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio Saturday rued Nagaland’s 70% population were farmers but their GDP contribution was a mere 19% and said that if the state needed to be self-sufficient, they had to contribute more.

He was speaking at the distribution function of Mahindra and Yuvraj tractors to 53 Naga beneficiaries under the CM corpus fund 2012-13 at the 3rd NER Agri Expo, 4th Mile, Saturday.

Rio reminded that since the declaration of ‘year of farmers’ in 2006-07 and 2007-08, the state government has been distributing power tillers and tractors. He also said that seeds and machineries were being distributed for the last 6 years leading to increased production of crop like rice but increased in production has not made the state self-reliant.

Pointing out that only 10% of the American population was engaged in farming but they created surplus for exporting to other countries, Rio asked state farmers to emulate their example so that less people could produce more by adopting modern methods of farming. 
“We need to progress too. In other countries, farmers are most respected because they produce food for the people”, said the chief minister.

He said one problem faced by farmers in the state was “fragmentation of land” due to which large scale production was not possible. For this, the chief minister urged farmers to set up cooperative societies so that the state’s help could be maintained and channelized properly.

Stating that it was high time people in the state realize the vision of the government to “organize, mechanize and become progressive farmers.” Rio advised the beneficiaries “don’t fool others but don’t you ever fool yourself by disposing off your machineries” referring to the tractors and other machineries provided by the state. The tractor was not to be displayed as done in museums but to be used in the fields, he pointed out. He also said “do not eat the seeds, nurture and eat the fruits”.

Earlier, planning and coordination minister T.R. Zeliang who chaired the programme said the state had great potential and the government has taken importance to empower the farmers by providing agri link road, agri improved seeds, agri machineries and market linkage. He said in the last six years, many power tillers and tractors were provided by the government and this year 35 tractors and 27 mini tractors were being distributed under CM corpus fund.

Kennedy Khutsho, a farmer from Bade village spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries and vote of thanks was delivered by Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), H.K. Khulu. Agriculture minister Dr. Chumben Murry, parliamentary secretary for IPR, economics & statistics R. Tohanba, advisor for sericulture and cooperation, Azheto, advisor Music Task Force, Dr. Nicky Kire and other dignitaries also attended the function. It was followed by distribution of the tractors by the chief minister.

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