Manipur Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar along with Forest Department officials launched agar tree plantation in Chandel district on Friday.
The day’s plantation programme at Utangpokpi village under Chakpikarong subdivision was attended by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Head of Forest Force K Angami, Chief Conservator of Forest (Territorial-II) Dhananjay Singh, Conservator of Forest (Eastern Circle) W Yaiskul Singh, Khuraijam Sanajaoba, Divisional Forest Officer, Chandel Forest Division.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Shyamkumar said the agar plantation will help the locals in increasing their income. Stating that the government is steadfast to protect and save the environment, he appealed to the villagers to protect the trees which are being planted today. He said the agar plantation will generate income of Rs 30,000 to 40,000 per tree after a gap of 7-8 years for the villagers and it will also help in protecting the environment.
Stating that the agar tree needs specific climatic conditions, he said Chandel, Jiribam, Kamjong and Moreh are best suitable places for the agar tree plantation in the state. He opined that departments of Horticulture and Soil Conservation and Forest need to work jointly for the benefit of the villagers. Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department will soon take up developmental programmes, he said.
On the other hand, villagers appreciated the Minister and the officials for organising the programme and stated that it has infused a new ray of hope among the villagers. The villagers also drew the attention of the minister over the bad road condition, construction of fencing at the agar plantation site, appointment of watchman and mali, supply of forest fire protection material, bamboo plantation scheme among others.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh while formally launching the agar tree plantation programme organized by the Forest department and Joint Forest Management Committee, Luwangshangbam on June 24, said that agar cultivation would provide a new ray of hope to villagers for sustainable economic development in the state.