Meghalaya launches Rs 121 cr 'Ginger Mission' to increase output
Shillong, April 26 (IANS) The Meghalaya government on Tuesday launched the Rs 121 crore "Ginger Mission", a flagship programme aimed at increasing its current production from about 60,000 MT to 1.5 lakh MT per year and to make the state the third largest producer of ginger in the country in three years.
Officials said that through the "Ginger Mission", about 50,000 farmers would be benefited and the area of production would be increased from 10,000 hectares to 12,500 hectares.
Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, launching the flagship programme, said that by the end of the mission, the state government is confident that Meghalaya would become the third largest producer of ginger in the country in three years.
"The objective of 'Ginger Mission' was to improve the overall earnings of the farmers in the state. In the past, several programmes for farmers' welfare were introduced, but the objective to enhance farmers' earning was not achieved," he said.
"As the government, we have realised that 70 per cent of the population in the state are into farming and it is incumbent on us that we introduce initiatives that directly and indirectly enable our farmers to reap its benefit."
The Chief Minister said that under the "Ginger Mission", the state government would create logistic hubs and storage spaces as well as connect the farmers to bigger markets and buyers.
He also said that the indigenous variety, "Sying Makhira, which is highly medicinal would also be promoted through this programme. "Our local variety of ginger 'Ing Makhir' also has medicinal properties and through this mission we would ensure its development and promotion," he said.
Through the three-year-long mission, the Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Department would introduce improved and high yielding varieties of ginger like IISR Mahima, IISR Varada and Nadia, which is currently being grown widely in the state.
During the launch of the mission, the Chief Minister also handed over the improved varieties of ginger samples to the farmers, who attended the programme.
Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh was also present in the event, held at the Integrated Agriculture Training Centre in Shillong.