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Address farmers’ interest; weed out bogus beneficiaries, Kaito tells Agri officers

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 2: Nagaland Minister for Agriculture & Cooperation, G Kaito Aye while asserting that both the Central and State Governments are serious about improving agri and allied sector, today called upon the officials of Agriculture Department to rededicate themselves in addressing the interest of farmers.
Addressing the Agriculture Officers’ Co-ordination meeting, held at Capital Convention Centre here, Minister Aye called upon the officers to go to the field, interact with farmers about their difficulties, motivate and educate them about the new technology of farming and encourage the farming community to adopt the cluster system of farming, which emphasises on integrated settled farming.
This, he said, would promote the State’s farmers to achieve a sustainable life.
He also instructed the officers to ensure that the schemes/facilities for the beneficiaries reach them on time and to identify the bogus beneficiaries of PMKSY schemes meant for farmers and to spread awareness to farmers to avail the KCC loans which are interest free. He added that farmers should be encouraged to grow commercial crops, which can be produced in the State.
Observing that many officers are performing exceptionally well, he said being officers of a responsible Department, they need to do more with zeal and dedication because the Department is dealing with the most vulnerable section of the community – farmers.
“Comparatively, the signs of development in the ground are not proportionate to the fund received from Centre or State Government. So we need to emphasize more on the tangible out-put or result because at the end of the day, development in the ground will be the Footprints of the Department”, said Aye.
Maintaining that agriculture is season-based activities, he said there are many schemes that are tangible and reflect the activities of the departmental officers in the field.
“Performance of Field Officers is the Mirror of the Department”, he said while urging them to have a strong coordination for a good outcome.
The Minister also appealed to them to emphasize on the different schemes of the Central Government, especially PM-KISAN and Kisan Credit Card. ‘
Further stressing on the need to weed out all bogus beneficiaries from the PM-KISAN scheme, Aye said, the Agriculture Department should take the lead in agri & allied activities in the districts.
Further, the Minister asked the officers to identify district specific crop friendly areas with emphasis not only on organic produce but to bring in commercial crops for surplus production to uplift the economic condition of the farmers.
In this, he asserted that space has been created in the Agri Expo site for State’s produce.
He further stated that in order to make agriculture the State’s mainstay, the buck has to be shifted to the farming community while the Department should provide supervision and support as well as create awareness on scientific method of farming.
The officers should conduct training and seminars for prospective farmers, he said, adding that they need not wait for direction from the Minister but continue to explore avenues to help the farmers.
“As field officers it is their responsibility for the success of the farming community but the failure of agriculture activities is the Agriculture Department’s mistake”, he said.
The Minister also sought the annual report for district-wise production by year end, saying that unless the farmers’ community is lifted, the State will continue to face problems.
Meanwhile, on the problems of farmers not able to avail schemes as 29 out of the 74 blocks in the State are unbanked, the Minister suggested that measures should be taken to disburse funds through the DDO so the schemes can be timely disposed off.
“Together let us work and dedicate ourselves in addressing the farmers’ interest by dedicating our services to lift the farmers’ community for continuity, sustainability and surplus production in the State”, Minister Aye challenged the officers.
Agriculture Production Commissioner, Y Kikheto Sema said that Agriculture Department as the mother of all Agri & Allied Departments has the duty to coordinate, guide, nurture and help other Allied Departments.
With 70% of the population in the State living in rural areas and engaged in agriculture, Agriculture is not an ordinary Department, he said.
Nonetheless, he expressed that the land holding system and traditional way of cultivation – jhum and shifting – is peculiar as it is not adequately included in any curriculum of any university around the world for which those studying modern agriculture systems also may not be helpful to the local farmers.
In this, he stressed on the need to include the Naga traditional way of agriculture in the syllabus so that the traditional way of farming gets the required help of modern technology.
On the other hand, he said the traditional way of farming is not economically and ecologically sustainable therefore there is a need to change the traditional way of farming. He cited the Naga Integrated Settled Farming at Boke-Botsa has been introduced so that all the different Departments come together to make farming a business enterprise and achieve sustainability.
The officials of Agri and Allied Departments need to come together and create awareness among farmers to work together, he said.
Pointing out that women farmers are hugely contributing to the Gross State Domestic Produce, he announced that the State Government is coming up with 120-bed women farmers’ hostel at the Agri Expo site.
Sema also joined his Minister in appealing to the officers to identify the bogus PM-KISAN beneficiaries in the State. While 524 have already been identified, the district officers detecting the highest bogus beneficiaries will be rewarded while those not detecting any would be penalized, he announced.
The APC further asked officers to create awareness on Kisan Credit Card among the farming community saying that it is an interest-free loan for farmers’.
Meanwhile, Sema, informing that the newly created districts would be facing problems of staff as post creation is not possible, he requested the officers to adjust with the current arrangement. He also urged them not to pressurize for transfer and postings but to be stationed at place of posting and continue to help the farmers.
Delivering the keynote address Additional Director, Agriculture Department C Peter Yanthan said that in recent times, with the intervention of the Agriculture Department, farmers have started diversifying their cultivation in the State. Diversified cropping system broadens the source of farmers’ food and income, he said, adding that the Government of India is giving emphasis on crop diversification and achieving self-sufficiency in oil seeds and pulses.
Meanwhile, calling on all to put efforts in line with the UN declaration of the year 2023 as the “International Year of Millets”, he said that the Department is focusing on area expansion, developing a calendar of events like documentation, exhibitions and millet festival.
Agriculture Director M Ben Yanthan chaired the programme while vote of thanks was delivered by Agriculture Additional Director, BN Phom.
(Page News Service)