Gangtok, 14 May (IPR): Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, IPR and Printing & Stationery Departments, Shri Lok Nath Sharma, participated in an E-Conclave organized by Sudarshan News Channel from Gangtok today. The interview was broadcasted live at 11:30 am.
Speaking in his 30-minute long TV interview, Minister Shri L.N. Sharma congratulated the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and expressed gratitude on behalf of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim and its people for the declaration of Economic Package and outlined expectations of the farmers and poor people to be self-reliant through special financial support from the Union Government.
The package will have a greater impact on economic growth and beneficial to boost farmers in Poultry, Piggery, Fisheries, Goatery, dairy farming, Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture and other sectors, he added.
He also highlighted various activities being taken up by the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services and numerous challenges, circumstances and huge loss borne by the farmers during the lockdown period. He underlined a dire need of the situation to produce indigenous raw materials in the own state of Sikkim to process feed for livestock to fill the shortages in supply from the neighboring border state of West Bengal and outside the country as well.
Replying to a question in the context of a reduction in the quantity of milk production, Shri Sharma said that farmers came across numerous challenges due to the crisis of feed that used to come from outside the State. He also spoke on the State’s potential in dairy farming and informed that the State Govt. has declared financial incentives of Rs. 8 per liter to encourage the farmers to enhance their production.
Further he shared about the newly initiated programme of Evening Milk Collection by Sikkim Milk Union to increase the quantity in the supply of milk during the lockdown period.
He also shared about the initiatives taken up by the State govt. for processing and marketing of the organic produce and expressed concern over low productivity as one of the challenges in the transformational stage of soil at present.
He informed about the intervention made by the State govt. to reopen closed factories in West Bengal to ensure the supply of essential feed for the poultry farming in Sikkim.
Additionally, he urged the Union Govt. to ensure the smooth operation of the feed mill and factories and also the transportation of essential feed during the COVID 19 crisis.
He also touched upon huge potential of the State in fisheries farming and mentioned exemplary output acquired by the farmers of Shribadam and Uttarey in West Sikkim and further emphasized on ongoing planning of the State govt. to strengthen the fisheries sector with the support of the Union Govt.
He also touched upon financial loss borne by the State in the Tourism sector and challenges being faced by the manpower and daily wage workers who were dependent on tourism, industrial sector, hotels to earn their livelihood.
Minister Shri Sharma also mentioned various notable initiatives of the State govt. including a ban on issue of Inner Line Permit, closedown of three check-post in the border area and health screening started before the detection of any positive case in India, to make Sikkim COVID 19 free State till date.
In his concluding remarks, the Minister urged the Union Ministry to sanction part of the economic package for the benefit and welfare of the farmers and financial subsidies to motivate and encourage them towards farming.