Guwahati: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal claims that the state’s farmers and agri-entrepreneurs did business worth Rs 357 crore during the lockdown by exporting agricultural products to various parts of the country.
He said this during his visit to Maloibari in Kamrup Metro district on Tuesday. His visit was to take stock of agricultural activities being carried out by the farmers there. Sonowal said that Assam can become self-reliant in agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries etc., and farmers have shown that the state can achieve its developmental goals by engaging in agriculture and allied sectors with renewed vigour.
During his visit, Sonwal also interacted with the farmers harvesting paddy and inspected the functioning of paddy reaper machines distributed by the agriculture department.
“In parallel to the fight against COVID-19, the state government was putting emphasis on the resumption of economic activities and the farmers have shown the way in this regard, Sonowal said.
Urging the young generation to take up farming as a means of self-employment, Sonowal said that the agricultural sector holds the key in providing employment opportunities to the state’s youths returning from outside.
He also stressed on the need to capture the markets of the Northeast region with Assam’s agricultural products along with striving to penetrate the markets of neighbouring Southeast Asian countries.
Directing the agriculture department to provide seeds to the farmers by October every year, the chief minister said that timely distribution of seeds can help the farmers in increasing their production.
He also pitched for “Make in Assam” in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative and said that people of the state must extend their wholehearted support to Prime Minister’s call of local-vocal-global. Opting for local products and also becoming vocal for popularizing local products should be practised during these times for reviving the country’s economy, he said.
Along with speeding up economic activities, the chief minister strongly urged for maintaining social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols so that the outbreak of the pandemic can be contained in the state.
Assam agriculture minister Atul Bora, Guwahati Development Department minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya, MP Queen Oja, Dispur MLA Atul Bora, Lahowal MLA Ritupama Baruah also accompanied the chief minister during the visit.