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| Last Updated:03/11/2022

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Consultative training for farmers held

 Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, June 16 2022: In connection with World Environment Day, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change organised a one-day consultative training programme in association with Green Foundation for farmer interest groups on the topic of Organic Kharif 2022 and Mitigation of Climate Change under the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region at the Farmers Convention Centre of Green Foundation in Kwakeithel Awang Thiyam Leikai on Thursday.

The programme was attended by Directorate of Environment and Climate Change joint director Dr T Brajakumar as chief guest; Central Agricultural University, Imphal, College of Agriculture ex-dean Dr N Iboton as president and BRTC, KIIT-TBI, Bhubaneswar manager Dr Kangbam Rajeev as guest of honour.

In his speech, Dr T Brajakumar remarked that the various days observed under the initiative of the United Nations teach the world on how to protect the environment and also on how to adapt to the various changes.

Thus, the training programme was organised with the long term vision of helping the farmers integrate the old agricultural techniques with the new ones in consultation with experts, so to reap maximum benefits with the resulting new knowledge.

Emphasising on the increasing need of farmers to understand what agricultural activity would be best to feed the ever increasing population amidst low yield due to climate change; Dr Brajakumar remarked that in Manipur's context, we are have been dependent upon the ecosystem for our agricultural needs.

This will not only ease the existing issues, but also ensure success due to the integration of traditional method, modem knowledge and technology.

Informing that the Directorate is in the process of producing the 'Manipur State Action Plan on Climate Change Version 2' within the ongoing month, the joint director said that in this, the agriculture sector is to be considered as an extremely important sector and ensure the execution of the Organic Mission Policy based as the policy document, as per the strict instructions of the government.

Additionally, many opportunities are arising in the agriculture sector due to climate change.

It is usual to introduced new plant species during the transitional phase.

Thus, there is a need to test the compatibility of the plant species in suitable locations.

Similarly, the government's plan to plant oil palms in the state was finalised after a series of experiments to test the compatibility of the said species in the fields.

The Agriculture Department has already scientifically tested the compatibility in Jiribam, as had been stated by the Chief Minister, Dr Brajakumar conveyed.

Responding to questions on whether the oil palm plantation would negatively impact the state's environment, especially when other countries are banning oil palm plantations; Dr Brajakumar maintained that there is bound to be some changes in agriculture and horticulture sector due to climate change.

The state is now able to produce huge quantities of watermelon compared to the past.

It is inevitable for the old species to disappear to make way for new species.

Thus, it is important to plant species in accordance to climate change.

However, it is hard to conclude how the oil palms planted unscientifically will affect the environment or not, he commented.

In his speech, Green Foundation Manipur chief executive officer U Himmat highlighted the important role played by farmers in ensuring high yield amidst the ongoing changes to the environment and soil nutrients.

Many continue to use chemical fertilisers/pesticides despite knowing the harmful effects to the environment.

However, many are changing their ways and searching of other options including venturing into organic farming.

He continued that Green Foundation is preparing to convert 1600 'lou pari' into organic farmlands under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region.

At present, a farmer uses one bag of urea for one 'lou sangam', which means around 4 bags of urea and other chemicals are being used for one 'lou pari'.

As such, Green Foundation has been able to prevent farmers from utilising 6400 bags of urea for the 1500 'lou pari', thereby helping to save various costs including transportation.

Thus, farmers could be regarded as soldiers fighting climate change, he said.

Regarding the training programme, GNN proprietor Dr Thiyam General said that Manipur has been always a biodiversity-rich spot.

To prevent any impact of such biodiversity, agricultural activities are carried out in consultation with experts to use bio-fertilisers with microorganisms.

Although the state is unable to export produces at industrial scale, efforts are being made to meet the demands of the state itself, he added.