Friday, Feb 19, 2021 08:15 [IST]
Last Update: Friday, Feb 19, 2021 02:45 [IST]
GANGTOK,: The Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) of the State received transportation vehicles for marketing purpose of the agricultural produce on the occasion of the State level stakeholder workshop on Farmers Producers Organization held at Manan Kendra today.
Chief Minister P.S. Golay handed over the vehicle keys to seven FPOs and flagged off the subsidised transportation vehicles under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region, Phase 1, an IPR release informs. The remaining 21 FPOs in the State would also be receiving the subsidized vehicles under the scheme.
The programme, organised by the Sikkim Organic Farming Development Agency (SOFDA), Agriculture department had the special presence of Agriculture minister L.N. Sharma, Roads & Bridges minister Samdup Lepcha, Power minister M.N. Sherpa, dignitaries, officials and members of FPOs of all four districts.
On the occasion, the State government also provided compensation from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to the floriculturists and flower growers who had to bear great loss during the lockdown period of Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 282 flower growers were handed over the cheques by the Chief Minister, the IPR release mentions.
In his address, the Chief Minister stressed on the importance of the programme as it helped to raise the much-needed awareness about the multiple schemes under the Central and State governments for the benefit of the farming community. He appealed to the members of the FPOs to gather all the required information and knowhow about these schemes from this workshop. He added that time has come to keep agriculture as first priority to augment income and to earn livelihood. He urged the farming community to grab the unlimited opportunities and incentives created by the government in dairy farming, agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry sectors.
The Chief Minister stated that the government will implement every scheme on public participation basis to ensure that the beneficiaries take ownership and preserve the project. He also highlighted on the production incentive scheme of the government on five crops namely cardamom, ginger, buckwheat, orange and turmeric. He urged the members of the FPOs to ensure optimum utilisation of the transportation vehicles to connect the farmers of the area by transporting their products to the recognised marketing agencies.
Golay appealed to the FPOs to make best use of the shops/outlets allotted by the government in the capital. He further appealed to the farming community to increase production and be self-sufficient in food grains and vegetables. He called for the need to realise the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Sikkim’ in agriculture sector. He also appealed to the farming community to avail of the benefits of schemes like PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Ayushman Bharat and numerous other schemes.
The Chief Minister urged the FPOs to take ownership of their respective areas and uplift the economy. He announced that the best performing FPOs will be provided annual incentives in cash or kind.
Agriculture minister L.N. Sharma in his address reiterated the emphasis laid by the State government on the development of agriculture sector in the State. He said agriculture and horticulture continue to remain the focus area of the government. He urged the members of the FPOs to ensure that all the available agricultural land in the State is utilized for agricultural production. He informed that the process for creating more FPOs in the State is underway for which he urged to the existing FPOs to provide their support and cooperation.
The minister called for the need to increase productivity with the utilisation of barren land so that Sikkim can realize the dream of making a self-reliant State through agriculture, horticulture and livestock farming sector. He also urged FPOs to be more proactive to initiate cluster farming and cover maximum area to enhance farmers’ membership.
Agriculture secretary Rinzing Chewang Bhutia in his welcome address briefed about the objective of the programme and also highlighted the ongoing schemes and programmes under the department for the benefit of farmers in the State. He informed that the programme was organised to honour the FPOs from throughout the State for their hard work and to provide them encouragement. He informed that the government has been providing support to 25,800 beneficiaries throughout the State in the form of inputs, technological support etc.