Now, churches in Mizoram appeal govt to help areca nut farmers
Mizoram Church leaders meeting John Barla

Aizawl: Leaders of Mizoram churches on Monday sought the Centre’s help in resolving the plights of local areca nut growers, official sources said.

During a meeting with Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs John Barla in Aizawl, representatives of the Mizoram church leaders’ committee raised concern about the plight of the local areca nut farmers, the sources said 

The church leaders informed the union minister how large-scale smuggling of dry areca nuts from Myanmar via Mizoram affected local areca nut growers in transporting their products outside the state. 

The leaders also urged the Union Minister to intervene in the matter to ensure that the plights of the local areca nut growers are resolved. 

The church leaders also raised concerns about the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and the Anti-Conversion law, the sources said.

Barla on his part shared his full confidence in the Modi government to resolve the issues faced by the minorities. 

He said that the issues needed to be discussed on a table by the representatives of the minority and the leadership at the Centre. 

While acknowledging the important role played by the religious leaders in society, the Union Minister urged the church leaders to take up a proactive role in awareness campaigns on various social security and welfare schemes of the Centre.

He also stressed the need for fulfilling the aspirations of poorer sections of society through Central welfare schemes.

Recently, areca nut growers in western Mizoram’s Mamit district staged an agitation demanding the state government to take measures for transportation of their products to neighbouring Assam.

Meanwhile, home minister Lalchamliana said that the government is making massive efforts to curb the smuggling of areca nuts from Myanmar.

However, transportation of the illegal goods could not be stopped completely due to the porous Indo-Myanmar border.

Mizoram shares a 510- km-long border with Myanmar.

Lalchamliana also said that he was informed by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a border talk held recently in Guwahati that the sudden shutdown of the green areca nut trade was not imposed by the Assam government but by the Centre. 

Also Read | Mizoram: Barla meets state, LADC officials, reviews Central schemes

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