Agartala: Instead of cultivating ganja, people need to increase their inclination towards the production of dragon fruit because it is not possible to legalise ganja cultivation in Tripura at the moment, said Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday.
CM Deb said this in response to a question raised by his party MLA Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl on the legalisation of ganja cultivation in the question and answer session of the budget session in the Tripura Assembly.
However, he affirmed that he would ask the experts to look into the matter.
Hrangkhawl has stated, “The scope of revenue collection in Tripura is very limited. As a result, we have to rely on the centre. The land of Tripura is very fertile for ganja cultivation. But, there is no legal validity, so a lot of people are suffering financially.”
He claimed that despite its medicinal properties, Ganja does not benefit from being illegal, although ganja is constantly being cultivated and sold illegally.
He also claimed, if the cultivation of ganja becomes legal, the revenue will be collected and many people involved in the cultivation will benefit financially.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said that ganja is being cultivated in the forest area in Tripura. As a result, no owner was found in the police operation.
“The Tripura government has found alternative farming opportunities in exchange for ganja cultivation. Dragon fruit has been approved by the central government for harvesting in Tripura. In addition, pineapple will open new doors of earning”, Deb said.
He also said that the dragon fruit tree was not yielded for 20-25 years. There is also a huge demand for that fruit. Therefore, the Tripura government will help in the production of dragon fruit through MGNREGA.
“The cultivation of that fruit is very costly. It will cost Rs 20 lakh rupees per hectare to cultivate dragon fruit. Therefore, a request to increase the allocation for the MGNREGA project has been made by the state government”, Deb added.
Speaking further he said that the Tripura government will help sell the fruit outside the state.
“Alcohol has got legal legitimacy long ago, as a result, the Tripura government is earning more than Rs 100 crore from the sale of the liquor. However, the poor do not directly benefit from the illegal sale of ganja”, Deb claimed.
However, he said that a proposal has been sent to the central government for approval in the cultivation and sale of Agar.