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Experts call for holistic approach to conserve Tree Bean (Yongchak)


A one day National seminar on “Dying of Tree Bean (Yongchak) in Manipur: Remedies and Steps Toward Conservation” was held on Saturday at the Manipur University VC’s Court Hall. Scientists, farmers from interior villages of Manipur, and others participated the seminar. 

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Experts and scientists have called for a holistic approach to conserve Tree Bean (popularly known as Yongchak in Manipur). They also echoed the need for an integrated approach involving all the stakeholders to investigate the reason behind dying of the tree in the state. 

A one day National seminar on “Dying of Tree Bean (Yongchak) in Manipur: Remedies and Steps Toward Conservation” was held on Saturday at the Manipur University VC’s Court Hall. The seminar was co-organised and co-sponsored by Manipur University; Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal, Manipur; Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – North-East Institute of Science and Technology (CSIR-NEIST), Imphal; Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Research Complex Manipur Centre; Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), Government of Manipur; and the Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS), Manipur. 

Manipur governor Najma Heptulla who attended the seminar as chief guest through video conferencing, delved on the importance of Yongchak in Manipuri cuisine. She lamented that the poor cannot afford the delicacy anymore due to the price which has skyrocketed in recent years. On the dire situations of Yongchak tree growers, she urged the experts and concerned to find a solution in terms of production and marketing. 

Department of Biotechnology (Mizoram University) head Thangjam Robert Singh in his keynote address delved on the issues the farmers are facing and the possible reason for the trend of the mass dying of Yongchak tree in the last decade or so. 

According to Robert, the factors of the mass dying of the Yongchak tree might be climate change, lack of scientific method during plantation and management and loss of genetic diversity. He mulls for a Yongchak policy and justice for the plant. The efforts need to be focused on short term (around three years) and long term basis, he added. 

MP (Outer Manipur) Dr Lorho S Pfoze who attended the inaugural ceremony as one of the guests of honour, calls upon everyone to take up the responsibility against exploitation and destruction of nature. “Let’s go back to nature,” he said. 

MU vice chancellor in-charge professor Amar Yumnam expressed happiness that such a seminar is being conducted. He propounded that a university or an institute should connect to their environment and work for their betterment.

Technical sessions were held for the participants which included farmers from Tusom, Khararsom, Wahong, Sesame, and Sorarkhong. 

I Meghachandra Singh, joint director, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Imphal; S Basanta Singh, director of Instruction and director of Research, Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal; H Birkumar Singh, senior principal scientist, CSIR-NEIST, Branch Laboratory, Lamphelpat, Imphal; Mayanglambam Khelendro, Vice President, Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS), Manipur also attended the inaugural function of the seminar. 

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