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Shillong, December 13, 2021: Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma today distributed cheques to Lakadong turmeric farmers in a programme to extend Financial Support to the Collective Marketing Centres (CMCs) and the Processing Units under Mission Lakadong at Meghalaya Agriculture & Management Extension Training Institute (MAMETI) Upper Shillong which was also attended by Minister, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Banteidor Lyngdoh.

Speaking to a gathering of Lakadong turmeric farmers from Jaintia Hills, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma said that until a few years back the main source of income for the people of Jaintia Hills was through coal mining and added that an alternative sustainable source of livelihood needs to be created for the people as coal is a non-renewable resource. “We need to create an alternative source of livelihood and parallel industries out of the natural resources that we have that is renewable, sustainable and environment friendly,” he said. He also informed that the government has been trying to promote grass root level organizations in different sectors and direct benefit has been given to the farmers through different interventions. He informed that five crores will be distributed to sixteen different CMCs and two Processing Units out of which 20 lakhs will be given as grant for infrastructure and ten lakhs as working capital support.

The Chief Minister said that not mere transition but a Just Transition is important for the society. He also informed that two curcumin extraction units of ten crores each will be established in the region at the earliest. “The closest extraction unit is in Bangalore and it is an absolute necessity that we have curcumin extraction unit in the State,” he said. He also urged the entrepreneurs to come forward and take the lead to run the business and be a part of the Lakadong Mission.

He also informed that Organic Certification Centre and Testing laboratories to confidently export the Lakadong produce to different parts of the world will also be soon set up in the State. The Chief Minister also announced that in February 2022 when all the CMCs will be inaugurated the Lakadong Festival will also be held to promote and celebrate the Lakadong turmeric that is unique to the State. He also stated that Logistic Centres at Umroi and Jengjal airports are at the final stage of funding and these Logistic Centres would also help the farmers of the State to market their products.

Earlier, in his Key Note Address, Commissioner & Secretary, Agriculture, Dr Vijay Kumar said that through the CMCs the farmers will be provided facilities of infrastructure, storage facilities, machinery to process the turmeric and working capital in an integrated manner.

Among others who spoke during the occasion were K N Kumar, Chairman, Meghalaya Farmers Empowerment Commission, A Suting, Chief Operating Officer, Livelihood Improvement Finance Company of Meghalaya (LIFCOM) and local Lakadong farmers who shared their experiences.

Initiatives : Agriculture

Launch of “Restart Meghalaya Mission’ on 15th August 2020

The Mission comprise of a series of interventions to support farmers and entrepreneurs by enabling them to build growth-promoting basic infrastructure and services. Under this Mission, 1917iTEAMS – the IT Platform aimed at enabling farmers access to agricultural information, crop advisories and markets will be expanded logistically through induction of another 100 vehicles.

Creation of the Directorate of Food Processing on May 2018

With the objective of seizing opportunities in the sector and the untapped food processing potential of the state for uplifting the livelihoods of farmers and value chain actors, the Government of Meghalaya created the Directorate of Food Processing (DFP) as a one-stop agency to handle all matters relating to food processing in the state and to deal with all central government Ministries and Agencies (viz. Ministries of Agriculture, and Food Processing, SFAC, NCDC, NABARD, etc.) in all matters pertaining to the development of agricultural food processing sector.

First Ever Farmer’s Parliament held on 4th - 5th December 2018

The parliament was organised by the state department of agriculture in collaboration with Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) and the Hill Farmers' Union (HFU). As a step toward the promotion of new technologies, HFU with the support of Meghalaya government, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence App for farmers — called Nongrep (nongrep in Khasi language means farmer) with its software partner Impetus Solutions from Hyderabad — as a social innovation project. This app will address matters of farm aggregations, soil health and disease identification, crop yield, farm produce pickups, market linkage and retail sellers app.

Launch of the Farmer’s Portal on 7th May 2018

The Meghalaya Famers’ Portal (www.megfarmers.gov.in) of the Department of Agriculture is a platform for farmers to seek any information related to agriculture. Detailed information on farmers’ insurance, agricultural storage, crops, extension activities, seeds, pesticides, farm machineries, etc. is provided. Details of fertilizers, market prices, package and practices, programmes, welfare schemes are also given.

Awards & Recognitions
  • Meghalaya has been selected for the Commendation award in 'Total foodgrains Category-III' for 2017-18. The award consists of a citation and an amount of Rs. 1 crore.
  • Meghalaya Agriculture Department and the MIE Meghalaya Team won the '7th eNabling North East (eNorth East) Award 2019-20' in the 'Agriculture & Rural Development' category for 1917 iTEAMS project which is a project in collaboration with Digital India.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded Meghalaya on May 2018 the Krishi Commendation Award for the year 2015-16, in recognition of the commendable foodgrains production achieved by the State.
  • Meghalaya has been adjudged the Most Improved Small State in the category of Agriculture and received the India Today – "The State of the States” Award on 23rd November 2018.