Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Agriculture Dept meeting identifies Common Collection Centre for every GPU and cluster

GANGTOK, 12 Mar: Food Security and Agriculture Development Department has taken up more than 450 hectares this year for the cultivation of baby corn, sweet corn and pop corn following the successful trials of these crops in the state last year.
Out of the 450 hectares, 350 hectares are covered by the beneficiaries of the Chief Minister Special Package for Dry and Backward Areas of South and West Sikkim while the remaining hectares covers the farmers in the general programme of the department. It is informed that 10 GPUs each in West and South Sikkim were identified for the cultivation of these crops under the Chief Minister Special Package for Dry and Backward Areas after getting the direction from the Chief Minister during his village-to-village tour.
For the same, the FS&ADD has already identified beneficiaries and provided training to farmers and panchayats and also handed over the seeds, manure and other required inputs and are now just waiting for the right time for sowing.
To deliberate on the marketing strategies and other concerned issues, a meeting was convened at Krishi Bhawan conference hall today, which was attended by Principal Director, Phitook Tshering Bhutia, Director, Khorlo Bhutia, Additional Directors, PK Dewan, Dr Yasoda Pradhan and SL Dorji, district and sub-divisional officers and field functionaries of the FS&ADD and Managing Director, Brijendra Swaroop and DGMs of SIMFED.
The meeting identified the Common Collection Centre for every GPU and cluster, from where the SIMFED will collect the produce of the farmers to take to the processing units.  The meeting also announced to provide cash incentives and certificates to best performing officials and farmers.
Director, Mr Bhutia stated that the department has been encouraging farmers to take up the cultivation of these crops as these get ready in just two months and the farmer could earn more than one lakh rupees from one hectare of land. He informed that last year the department had taken up 30 hectares and received an overwhelming response from the farmers and many farmers have themselves come forward this time for the cultivation of these crops.
Mr Bhutia also directed field functionaries to create more awareness and provide guidance to farmers and to provide full support to them for the success of these crops. He encouraged all concerned sections to help out farmers to uplift their socio-economic condition.
It has been informed that as the farming practiced in the state is organic so there his huge marketing potential of these crops outside the state.
SIMFED, MD, Mr Swaroop informed that SIMFED has been paying farmers for their produce on the spot and last year SIMFED paid a total of Rs 25 lakh to farmers for their produce.
The district and sub-divisional officials along with the field functionaries were also advised to prepare success stories of farmers involved in the cultivation of these crops.

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