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Manipur farmer representatives say no to palm oil tree plantation in state


Farmer representatives from across the state, who gathered at Diocesan Social Service Society (DSSS), Manitripukhri, Manipur for a consultation meeting, deliberated on the issues and challenges faced by the farmers of Manipur

TFM Desk

Farmer representatives from all the districts of Manipur have stressed the necessity for establishing a strong farmers’ union for the whole of Manipur to highlight their issues. They also resolved to say no to Palm oil tree plantation in Manipur.

Farmer representatives who gathered at Diocesan Social Service Society (DSSS), Manitripukhri, Manipur on Saturday for a consultation meeting deliberated on the issues and challenges faced by the farmers of Manipur. The meeting was jointly organised by Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), Human Rights Alert (HRA) and Lounmi Sinmi Apun Lup (LOUSAL).

A press statement issued by Meihoubam Rakesh, Director, HRLN-Manipur, said the consultation started with an introduction to the present agricultural challenges of Manipur by Prof M Premjit, former Vice Chancellor, Central Agricultural University. Chingakham Pishak, former Deputy Director, Agriculture Department Government of Manipur and Mutum Churamani, President LOUSAL shared the dais. The session was moderated by Keisham Pradipkumar, former member of Manipur State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The statement further said the recent success of the farmers’ movement and the present challenges faced by them in India was presented by Kirankumar Vissa of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) from Andhra Pradesh through video conference. Similarly, Mirnal Gohain of Action Aid, Assam spoke on “Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Agriculture in the North East”, highlighting the internal colonialism suffered by the North East in the agriculture sector in the last seven decades. Environmental activist Wangkehirakpam Ramananda spoke on “Developmental Justice and Palm Oil Plantation” citing the experience of Mizoram and other countries of South East Asia, it added.

After a district wise group discussion on the issues and challenges, the meeting unanimously passed a resolution highlighting the following points:

•            A holistic Agricultural Policy for the State of Manipur should be formulated through an inclusive process.

•            A strong farmers’ union for the whole of Manipur should be established to highlight their issues.

•            The PDS suffered from various limitations in providing food security to the people as vested interest gains out of the system rather than the beneficiaries.

•            The Government of Manipur should buy the agricultural and horticultural products of the farmer by ensuring a Minimum Procurement Price.

•            The locally produced rice should be procured from the local farmers at an assured minimum procurement price and distributed through the existing Targeted Public Distribution System.

•            Distribution of seed and bio fertilizer should be done equitably and transparently.

•            Irrigation system should be improved and special attention should be given to the specific needs of the hill areas to harvest rainwater.

•            Multiple and diverse cropping should be encouraged.

•            Liberal credit facilities should be provided to small and marginalised farmers.

•            Concerted efforts should be made to assure a stable market of the agricultural and horticultural products.

•            Training in modern forms of agricultural practices and food processes should be for marketing and training for dry fruit.

•            No to Palm oil tree plantation in Manipur.

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