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Rio stresses on agro-technology

Chief minister, Neiphiu Rio tries his hand on a tractor at DDSC stadium, Saturday. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUN 13 (NPN):
Published on 14 Jun. 2009 12:24 AM IST
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Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio urged Naga farmers to produce more for prosperity while saying that it was a matter of shame that Naga society continues to be a consuming rather that a producing society with almost all edible items were still being imported to the state. Speaking at a function marking the distribution of tractors and power tillers to beneficiaries under the CM’s corpus fund at DDSC stadium, on Saturday, Rio pointed out that the main economy activity of the Nagas was based on agriculture which was interwoven with the culture of the people. He enlightened the beneficiaries on the importance of machines and technology in the field of agriculture and appealed to the beneficiaries not to sell the machineries but to use them for improving their economy. “We want to achieve food sufficiency,” he reminded the gathering. The chief minister also challenged the youths to form farmers’ unions and work in coordination with the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) for the welfare of the farmers. Informing the farmers about the micro loans provided by the government through the VDBs, Rio urged the gathering to start the culture of earning, saving and investing. A total of 86 tractors and 162 power tillers were distributed to farmers from all over the state. Later the chief guest along with the home minister and agriculture minister drove the tractors around the stadium before handing over the certificates of ownership of the machineries to the beneficiaries. Minister for agriculture, Dr Chumben Murry in his brief speech called upon the beneficiaries to make proper use of the vehicles and informed that a census of the machineries would be taken. He urged the farmers to replace the traditional way of farming with the scientific method to achieve both quality and quantity yield. He also thanked the chief minister for the initiatives taken to provide the funds from CM’s corpus fund. Additional chief secretary & development commissioner, Alemtemshi Jamir, IAS who chaired the programme threw light on the essentials of modern technology in agriculture for increasing the yield since globalization was here to stay. He claimed that Nagaland has sustained a growth rate of 8.4% , supposed to be the highest in the country. Stating that the Nagas should not solely depend on migrant laborers, he said the increasing population of illegal migrants was a “very serious issue.” Speaking on the sidelines of the function, the additional chief secretary expressed disappointment that till now no young entrepreneur had come up with the initiative to take care of transportation of the produce from the farms to the market. He also pointed out that though the APMC was supposed to function as more of an NGO, it had become more governmental in the state. Earlier, Roben Daulaguphu, a beneficiary of last year gave a feed back while Mathou Konyak spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries. Commissioner & secretary, agriculture department, N Neitsale Zhasa delivered the vote of thanks. The machineries have been funded under the CMs corpus fund with 75% of the cost being borne by the government and 25% by the beneficiaries. The 75% of the cost of the tractor works out at Rs 4.10 lakhs while the 25 % Rs 1, 41, 981 was paid by the farmers. For the power tillers, the calculation comes at Rs 1.01 lakhs for the 75% while Rs 37, 436 was the remaining 25% to be borne by the beneficiaries.

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