Gangtok, July 5 (IPR): The Hon’ble Minister, Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services Shri Lok Nath Sharma along with the Hon’ble MLA, Rhenock Constituency, Shri Bishnu Kumar Khatiwara carried out a daylong field visit of Budang Kameray and Central Pendam Gram Panchayat Unit, East Sikkim, today.
The visiting team was also joined by the Hon’ble Chairman Sikkim Housing Development Board Shri Karma Tashi Bhutia, Hon’ble Chairman, Sikkim Consumer Cooperative Society, Shri Santosh Kumar Pradhan, Secretary, Agriculture Department Shri Rinzing C Bhutia, Secretary, Horticulture Shri MT Sherpa, Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Dr. Sangey D Bhutia, MD Sikkim Milk Union Dr. AB Karki, CEO Sikkim Organic Federation Development Agency (SOFDA) Dr. S. Anbalagan, senior officials and field functionaries.
The visit began from Sajong ward under Budang Kameray Gram Panchayat Unit. The Hon’ble Minister interacted with the farming community and announced to establish a Milk Collection Centre, Unfarmed Vegetable Collection Centre, Community Water Tank in the locality. He outlined the importance of agriculture and livestock farming and motivated people to adopt the lucrative profession of farming.
Thereafter, he visited Veterinary Hospital at Central Pendam and enquired about the current status and availability of facilities. He assured for repairing of existing infrastructure along with the lab facilities.
The inspection team then visited Budang ward under Budang Kameray Gram Panchayat Unit wherein the Hon’ble Minister minutely inspected cultivable land and cowsheds of various households. The visiting team observed the practice of integration of dairy and bee farming and professed with the double income generating source under a single roof of Cow Shed.
The Hon’ble Minister also interacted with the farmers in the field and directed the concerned officials to conduct soil testing for further improvement in production levels.
Addressing the farming community at Budang, the Hon’ble Minister applauded their dedication to dairy farming and declared to establish a Stockman Centre of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services within a month after the verification exercise. He also directed concerned officials for regular visits at least once a week to provide the essential requirements of Livestock Farmers.
He also informed that the state government has accorded approval to provide financial incentives for new varieties of vegetables that includes Rs. 5/- per kilogram of Cabbage, Rs. 7/- per kg of Cauliflower, Rs. 8/- per kg of Green Pea, Rs 20/- per kg of Dalley Khorsani, Rs. 7/- per kg of Radish, Rs. 7/- per kg of Carrot and Rs. 20/- per kg of Kiwi. He stressed that the marketing of the said vegetable varieties needs to be executed through respective Cooperatives, Farmers Producers Organization (FPO) or VLW centre to be entitled to the benefits. The Production Incentive Scheme of five notified crops has also been revised and the financial incentives per kilogram of Cardamom have been increased from Rs. 20 to Rs.100, Ginger Rs. 9 to Rs.20, Turmeric Rs. 5 to Rs.10, Buckwheat Rs.4 to Rs.10, and incentives per kilogram of Orange is also being increased from Rs 10 to Rs.20, he informed.
The Hon’ble Minister also underlined the importance of Crop and Livestock insurance and urged all concerned to create massive awareness amongst farmers.
Later, the team stopped at Juthi Dara/Upper Pachak Milk Collection Centre and after listening to the public grievances he announced to establish a Dairy cooperative centre. The progressive farmers of the locality also requested Green House and Polypipe.
The daylong visit was converted to a farmers’ interactive session at Lower Pachak. The Hon’ble Minister threw light on the notable initiatives of the Government like Production Incentives Scheme (Financial Incentives for notified crops and vegetables) Development Through Credit, and time-bound implementation of various schemes in the state.
He elaborated on the vision of the Hon’ble Chief Minister to uplift the rural population with farmer-friendly policies and programs. He also elucidated on the strong commitment and the political will of the state government to bolster the rural economy with utmost sincerity. He also threw light on the scope of farming and encouraged farmers for vegetable production, dairy, piggery, fisheries, and other allied sectors.
Addressing the demand, the Hon’ble Minister announced to establish a Vegetable Stall at Rangpo Bazar for the farmers of the locality and a Milk Collection Centre at Kamarey. He also announced a Farm Machinery Bank dedicated to the farmers of the vicinity.
Addressing the gathering, Area MLA Shri Bishnu Kumar Khatiwara apprised on the distribution of agricultural inputs in his constituency. He also appreciated the role of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Departments in the execution of programs and planning of the Government.
He encouraged people to be more proactive to engage themselves in productive activities and take real benefit of the New District declaration. He also touched upon other facilities and ongoing developmental activities in his constituency.
During the program, three SHG namely, Budang Pokhari, Bordang Gurash, and Kameray Deep Mala received a financial grant of Rupees One Lakh each under Horticulture Department. A total of Sixty-Five SHGs will be benefited with a financial grant of Rs One Lakh each for further processing and value addition of their produce. Token of Genab tank of fifty thousand liters, Polypipe, fruits seedlings/ grafted and tissue culture were also handed over to the farmers. Similarly, the Agriculture Department distributed Power Tiller to three beneficiaries and also handed over Chaff Cutter and Polypipe to the farmers. The AH&VS Department also distributed various tokens including Chaff Cutter to five households, Backyard Poultry to two beneficiaries, and Silage bag to four beneficiaries.
The Hon’ble Minister also handed over the Chilling Machine (Bulk Milk Cooler) having a capacity of 500 and 300 liters to three Milk Producer Cooperative Societies of Budang, Upper Pachak, and Kameray. Dairy farmers also received an interest-free loans of Rupees Forty thousand from the Milk Cooperative Union. The farmers also received back-ended subsidy loans under Development through Credit.