Farmers in Manipur, after a meeting, “unanimously” resolved or declared that a holistic agricultural policy for the state of Manipur should be formulated through an inclusive process.
According to a joint press release by Loumi Sinmi Apun Lup (LOUSAL), Human Right Alert (HRA) and Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), the famers hailing from all the districts of Manipur, have gathered at the conference hall of Diocesan Social Service Society, Mantripukhri in Imphal on January 15, and deliberated on the issues and challenges faced by them. They adopted several declarations or resolutions after inputs from local and outside experts.
Another declaration or resolution was that, a strong farmers’ union for the whole of Manipur should be established to highlight the issues and concerns of the farmers.
The meeting also said that the PDS suffered from various limitations in providing food security of the people as vested interest gains out of the system rather than the beneficiaries.
“The government should buy the agricultural and horticultural products of the farmer by ensuring a minimum procurement price and distribute it through the existing targeted public distribution system,” it added.
One of the points of declaration said that the distribution of seed and bio fertilizer should be done equitably and transparently. The meeting also declared that the exiting river lift irrigation and Loktak lift irrigation system should be made fully functional and new initiatives should be taken up with a specially focus in the hill areas to harvest and retain rainwater.
The meeting then said that multiple and diverse cropping should be encouraged, mono-cropping and excessive use of pesticide and insecticide should be checked effectively. It further said that liberal credit facilities should be provided to small and marginalized farmers and there should be regulations to curve on exploitative money landing practices.
“Concerted efforts should be made to assure stable market of the agricultural and horticultural products,” it further said.
The meeting also said that training in modern form of agricultural practices, food processes and marketing should be expedited.
The farmers’ meeting then resolved that learning from the negative impact of the Palm oil tree plantation, elsewhere, the famers of Manipur will resist this plan, tooth and nail.