Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Thursday said that poppy farming in the state, especially in hilly areas, are affecting the fertile soil due to excessive use of fertilisers. To combat the issue, the state will need to introduce a horticulture-based alternative livelihood programme for poppy farmers, he said.
The chief minister was speaking at the inaugural function of the directorate building of the department of horticulture & soil conservation at Sajenthong in Imphal East.
Applauding the horticulture department in promoting organic farming in the state, CM Singh also stressed on need to focus on specific items like lemon, pineapple, ginger, yongchak (parkia) and among others, which are suitable for the state.
By doing this, the state (Manipur) will be in the world map of producing organic products in next five years, he said.
The chief minister also informed that the state had airlifted around 150 metric tonnes of organic pineapples to Delhi and other major cities last year. This was possible and achieved due to the growing numbers of organic pineapple growers in the state, he added.
Singh also informed that since 2015-16, the Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) had been able to register 12,500 organic farmers covering 12,500 hectares in the state. Under the MOMA programme, 10 farmer producer companies (FPC) had been formed and another five FPCs are in the process of formation, he said.
Organic umarok (king chilli), which is widely produced in the state and known for its pungent taste, had been exporting to different parts of the world, including Australia, Canada and the United States, said the CM.
Moreover, cold storage facilities are being set up in various parts in the state for the convenience of farmers, he added.
During the inaugural event, the CM along with horticulture and soil conservation minister Th Shyamkumar and other officials inspected the Manipur Organic Outlet, and interacted with its staff members.