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Farmers and village chief of Thayong sharing their experience to media person

Pineapple Farmers Wish Government Would Compensate for Hailstorm Damaged Crops Without Fail

Even as agricultural crops were ravaged by recent heavy rainfall and unprecedented hailstorm everywhere in the state, pineapple farmers from Ngarian under Imphal East district are also left devasted by the same natural disaster. The aggrieved farmers wished to get government compensatory support without fail.

A team of media persons had visited Thayon Kom Village and Thamaram Tangkhul Village in Ngarian under Imphal East district this week for interaction with farmers.

During the visit, media persons witnessed huge damage incurred on pineapple farms located at Thamaram Tangkhul Village.

A farmers producer company named as “Yelhoumee Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region” located in Thamaram Tangkhul Village expressed their distressing plight and losses they suffered this year because of recent natural disaster.

Chairman of the said company, Somingam Keishang said that as many as 530 farmers are working under their company from adjoining 10 villages. The company has been planting pineapple as a major crop in 186 acres of land. Every year, they yield crop twice a year receiving a turnover of around Rs 56 crore. But this time, the company will surely incur great loss because of large damage of standing crops by heavy rain and hailstorm.

He further said that the company had approached the government to get at least some support. But they haven’t received any response yet.

“Many of our farmers are running their family with the money they get from company. Our company is working in a very systematic manner under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region. Its implementing agency is a Manipur Organic Mission Agency. The recent natural disaster devastated our crops. We hope, government may surely acknowledge the challenges which will encounter by farmers and extend support without fail,” he added while expressing his hope and expectation.

In Thayong Kom Village as well, farmers mostly cultivated pineapple. Crops in this place were not that damaged like Thamaram Tangkhul Village. A 60 years old pineapple cultivator shared her experience in pineapple cultivation highlighting the community’s commitment to just relying on organic method of cultivation.

“I have been doing pineapple farm for more than 40 years. Our village doesn’t have adequate water supply or proper irrigation facilities, we mostly depend on pineapple cultivation because it is suited in dry land. However due to constant rise of temperature, our crops nowadays get perish soon making heavy loss comparing to last more than 10 years,” she shared and expressed the need of installing one cold storage and food processing in her village.

The village chief of Thayong Village, M. Achung Kom informed that pineapple farming is the primary source of occupation of his village since after second World War to date. They used to depend on organic farming despite high labor charge and limited profitability.

He said that earlier they used to endure so many challenges in doing pineapple cultivation such as absence of proper market strategy, financial assistance, lack of agricultural inputs etc. But from 2015 their grievances has been reduce to some extend as they start getting some assistance from MOMA.

He continued and informed that there are around 1200 population in his village and number of household is 198. More than 90 per cent of the total family depend on pineapple cultivation.

“Pineapple farming is not that profitable and farmers couldn’t enhance their standard of livelihood. But farmers don’t want to shift their crop as it has been depending on this crops from many years. Had government provided loan with subsidy, it would be great help,” he draws attention of the government.

The press visit was a part of a two-day media Sensitization Programme on Horticulture Schemes which was kicked off on May 15. The programme was organised by Horticulture Department in association with All Manipur Working Journalists Union. It was held in connection with year long golden jubilee celebrations of AMWJU.

Mention may be made here that on May 5, heavy rain accompanied by hailstorm wreaked havoc in several parts of Manipur damaging houses and vehicles, while a man was critically injured after being struck by lightning. Government announced to provide assistance to affected families.

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