Centre to compensate Manipur’s violence-affected farmers
Around 9,719 hectares of paddy fields in the Imphal valley might face crop failure as farmers are afraid of going to their fields due to sporadic firing by the miscreants from the foothills.
GUWAHATI: The Centre has come up with a Rs 38.06 crore crop compensation package for the ethnic violence-affected farmers in Manipur.
The package will cover 5,127.08 hectares of severely affected agricultural areas identified as “areas likely to remain uncultivated due to present (ethnic violence) situation.”
The state’s agriculture commissioner, R K Dinesh revealed the estimated loss for the 5127.08 hectares is calculated as Rs 38.06 crore using average crop yield for the affected districts for the last three years and areas where cultivation may not be possible.
Earlier, a survey, conducted by the farmers’ body 'Loumee Shinmee Apunba Lup (LOUSAL)', stated that around 9,719 hectares of paddy fields in the Imphal valley might face crop failure as farmers are afraid of going to their fields due to sporadic firing by the miscreants from the foothills.
It is estimated that the total loss of income for the state in the agricultural sector this year could be around Rs 226.50 crore. Of this, the highest loss will be in rice production to the extent of Rs 211.41 crore which accounts for 93.36% of total agriculture and allied activities, followed by livestock farming, the survey said.
Of the five violence-hit valley districts such as Bishnupur, Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching and Thoubal, Bishnupur is the worst affected in terms of agricultural land area.
Farmers of Phubala, Sunusiphai, Naranseina, Khoirentak, Kumbi, Sagang, Torbung, Wangoo and Khoijuman Khunou, all in Bishnupur, are among the worst hit. Some had even sustained bullet injuries.
“Our farmers are back to square one. Despite security arrangements made by the government, they are afraid of going to their fields,” LOUSAL president Mutum Churamani said.
He also said that since the outbreak of the violence, the farmers were uncertain about going to the fields as they are located mostly near the foothills from where incidents of intermittent firing were reported.
“By July, with security arrangements, we somehow managed to send our farmers to initiate tilling and prepare for sowing,” he added.
To mitigate the crisis in the farm sector, a state-level monitoring committee was formed under the initiative of the state government along with five other organisations of farmers.
As advised by it, the government started providing security cover to farmers during the monsoon kharif season for agricultural work.
Some 2,000 security personnel were diverted by downgrading VIP security cover with the district commissioners of affected districts appealing to the farming community not to venture out for farming activities without security arrangements given the volatile situation.