Organic farmers of Pherzawl and Churachandpur districts in Manipur on Friday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kolkata based MSTC Ltd, a Government of India Enterprise, at the office chamber of Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Th Shyamkumar. As per the MoU the government of India enterprise under the Ministry of Steel will buy 1,000 metric tonnes of organic ginger from the farmers at the price of Rs 19 per kg, amounting to Rs 1.90 crore.
VL Keivom signed the MoU representing the farmers of Pherzawl while Soukat Das, Branch Manager, Guwahati, for the MSTC Ltd.
Speaking to media during the gathering, Minister Th Shyamkumar said as a follow up programme of the Ginger Festival cum Business Summit held on April 20 last in Parbung, Pherzawl district, the Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department including Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) has come up with the initiative for the farmers as they were searching for a market place.
Expressing happiness that the signing of the MoU will help in generating income for the farmers, especially for the farmers of Parbung, he said the Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department will also undertake such initiatives in other districts.
Mission Director, MOMA K Debadutta Sharma, said the MSTC Ltd will lift the first consignment on June 20. He said per day 32 kg of ginger will be procured from the farmers for a month. Once the consignment is lifted, immediate payment will be made through the account of the farmers registered in the web portal of the MSTC Ltd. Further, the products will be sold through e-auction on MSTC Ltd web portal.
He said the MSTC Ltd procures products from a group of farmers/farmers producers organization /farmers producers company who are registered in the web portal following certain criteria involving testing of the products. He said the farmers have to bear the transportation charge till Churachandpur, from where the company will lift the consignment to Kolkata at their own expense.
Debadutta Sharma further said if quality management and consistency are streamlined than there is a potential for a big market place in the next coming years for organic produces of the state including turmeric, pineapple among others.
JC Ramthanga Principal Secretary (Horticulture and Soil Conservation), K Kipgen,Director, Horticulture and Soil Conservation, department officials along with the farmers of Pherzawl and Churachandpur attended the signing of the MoU.