SEEKS DETAILS OF RS 1.50 CR EARMARKED FOR COFFEE PLANTATION
State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) I Meyionen Jamir on Tuesday urged the Land Resources Department (LRD) to take more initiatives to ensure that coffee plantation was not a failure in the State.
As the amount of hard work put into coffee cultivation would lead to a good harvest, he said following the instructions given by the experts was important.
While addressing the four-day pre-harvest training on coffee at Yahweh Empower Stature Agro Park, Gariphema, Meyionen remarked that many crops in the State had failed and cautioned that unless the department assisted and bailed out the coffee farmers, the initial enthusiasm for coffee plantations in the State could slow down as farmers could lose interest for want of financial support.
CIC also sought details from the department (LRD) regarding Rs 1.50 crore earmarked for coffee plantation in the State by 15th Finance Commission.
While lauding the department in promoting and educating the coffee growers, however, expressed concern about the cost involved in coffee farming and asked what happened to the Rs 1.50 crore earmarked for coffee plantation and the subsidy received from Coffee Board of India (CBI). He also asked whether the department had plans to assist the farmers financially.
CIC said the department officials were aware of the expenditure involved in development of a coffee farm, noting that the crop could not be cultivated by an ordinary villager as it involved availability of land, capital, labour and technical advice at every stage, apart from marketing the product.
Meyionen also opined that imparting training to the farmers should be a regular affair and involve more coffee growers in all the districts so that the farmers could reap maximum benefits.
He said though educated youth looked for government jobs, opportunities in the government sector had saturated. Hence, he appealed to young people to look beyond government jobs for livelihood.
The CIC also warned that lure for easy money by indulging in all kinds of corrupt practices would lead to nowhere, lamenting that Nagas had not learnt the hard way of leading their lives and improving their economic condition.
He pointed out that the mindset of earning today and getting exhausted the next day with no plan for the future would only pull a person down and called for giving up this mindset.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Pieter Vermeulen, managing director of Noble Cause Company from Cape Town, South Africa said the four-day training would include roasting coffee, training on coffee taste and aroma, enhancing flavour, visit to coffee farms, etc.
In his closing remarks, Gariphema village council chairman Vibeilietuo Kets disclosed that there were about 28,000 coffee pants spread over 20 hectares of land at Gariphema. He said the coffee harvest in 2021 from the cultivation was about 600 kg and hoped to harvest 1,000 kg in 2022.
DLR secretary Vikeyie Kenya delivered the welcome address at the programme, which was chaired by DLR director A Pangjung Jamir.
Two coffee growers from each of the 16 districts and district officers are undergoing the training.
DLR denies receiving amount
Meanwhile, when media persons asked about the Rs 1.50 crore earmarked for coffee plantation in 15th FC (FC) as claimed by the CIC after the programme, the DLR officials denied that the department had received any amount. They claimed that the department was supporting the coffee growers from within its own budget.