Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh inaugurated a two-day national workshop cum brainstorming session on ‘Unleashing the hidden potential of maize technology in NE hill region: status options and strategies’ at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) complex in Imphal on Monday.
Director N Prakash of Meghalaya’s Umiam based ICAR for NE hill region, Dr S L Jat of Indian Institute of Maize Research(IIMR) Ludhiana, Joint Director in charge Dr I Meghachandra of ICAR Manipur centre and Dr MA Ansari graced the inaugural function which was attended by many scientists from various parts of the country.
Delivering his speech during the inaugural function, Deputy Chief Minister Joykumar said that the government is planning to take up solar power energy generation and proper irrigation system in the State under the 15th plan for better agricultural activities because the region lacks irrigation facilities due to negligence.
Acknowledging the hidden potential of maize cultivation in NE region based on the experts comments, he also expressed his desire that the neighbouring states in the north-eastern region also take up similar steps to improve irrigation facilities so that multiple cropping can be done to enhance the farmers’ income.
He also asked the scientists attending the workshop to come with some valuable recommendation on the productivity and other aspects.
Stating the improvement of the maize production is need of the hour in the north-eastern region, Director Prakash of ICAR for NE hill region speaking on the occasion informed that ICAR has taken up maize cultivation improvement programmes in Manipur, Meghalaya and Sikkim since the last two years and it will be expanded in the other areas too.
Interestingly Nagaland is the highest maize producer among the north-eastern states while Karnataka stands top across the country, according to Dr SL Jat of IIMR.
Even though NE states is big consumer of maize and its products, the production of the crop in region is very minimal despite having enough potential, Dr Jat said while delivering key note address in the day’s function which was attended by farmers from many parts of the state.
Prior to the day’s technical session,a farmers-scientists interaction programme was also held wherein farmers raised many questions about the tips on maize cultivation in the region.
The scientists also advised them to be seriously right from the selection of the seeds while taking maize cultivation as it is different from rice cultivation process.
They said maize cultivation can take place with other pulses as well.