Assam aims to attain food self-sufficiency: Assam CM Himanta Sarma

Guwahati (Assam) [India], December 18 (ANI): Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that in the next two years, Assam will make big gains in food self-sufficiency to ensure money spent on daily needs remains within the state.

“We want to end the practice of trucks entering the state carrying fish, flowers, food and exit carrying coal and minerals,” Sarma said on Saturday while inaugurating the 8th Assam International Agri-Horti Show in Guwahati.

The Assam Chief Minister said that, during the recent Assembly election campaigns in five states, he had an opportunity to see the “best practices of farmers in other states.”

“I urge our farmers to take up cultivation of a second crop and also grow commercial trees to supplement their incomes. For the first time in the modern history of Assam, our government started the process of purchasing paddy from farmers. Rs 1,200 crore has been deposited in the bank accounts of farmers,” Sarma said.

The three-day Agri-Horti Show is witnessing participation from 11 countries and various government and private entities that are showcasing various items and will indulge in pertinent discussions on the agro-economy.

The Assam Chief Minister also dedicated the Darangiri Banana Market Development Project, laid the foundation stone of Assam Seed Corporation’s building, launched its logo and brand name and also gave away Farmers’ Award to performing farmers.

Chief Minister Sarma also said the current government in the state has been working tirelessly for the past two and a half years for the uplift of the agriculture sector.

He said the initiative by the state government to procure paddy at a minimum support price led to the procurement of a total of 6 lakh metric tonnes of the crop from as many as 62,000 farmers from across the state. This led to the transfer of an aggregate amount of Rs 12,000 crores into the accounts of the farmers and agriculturists, he said.

The state government’s attempt at purchase mustard from farmers too has met with unprecedented enthusiasm, he said.

The Chief Minister added that all steps are being taken to ensure that farmers are not deprived of the schemes and policies that have been launched or undertaken for their benefit. Millet Mission, Fodder Mission, among others, are also being utilised as mediums to support the farmers, he added.

Drawing a comparison between farmers in many other states to those from Assam, Chief Minister Sarma said Assams farmers should also practice commercial tree plantation and horticulture more extensively so as to increase their incomes like their counterparts from some of the other states.

Referring to products from the state, such as lemon, lichi, ginger, and bhootjolokia, among others, that managed to attract attention in many markets abroad, Chief Minister Sarma exuded confidence that scientific cultivation of such species would go a long way in ensuring a niche market for such products from Assam in the world market.

Sarma said though there is a Rs 100 crore flower market in the state, flowers cultivated in the state constitute only about 15% of the total demand. The state is also dependent on procurement from outside the state for pig feed and fish feed, among others, he added.

He made an appeal to concerned authorities to take steps to transform Assam into a state that is self-sufficient in agriculture and poultry. (ANI)




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