SHILLONG, Sep 08: Meghalaya Agriculture Minister, Banteidor lyngdoh on Monday said that the state government Department is seriously working towards an Agriculture Policy and also setting a Minimum Support Prices for farmers produce so that they are not exploited.
He said this during the launch of the Meghalaya Famers’ Portal (www.megfarmers.gov.in) at the Yojna Bhawan.
Lyngdoh said that the portal will directly connect farmers to the Agriculture Department and hoped that the information provided in the portal will prove to be beneficial to the famers of the state.
Meanwhile, farmers and representatives of the farmers union attending the programme felt that though the portal is a welcomed initiative towards improving the lot of the farming community yet the proper functioning of it is yet to be seen.
“We are very happy that the government has taken this initiative but we need the portal to function properly. Only launching won’t help,” said Alfonbor Kharsyntiew the General Secretary of Hills Framers Union adding that the government had earlier launched in the year 2014 similar programme but till now they are still asking for two years to function properly.
He however acknowledged that the portal will help them in getting information.
“We will get all the information about agriculture and knowhow on crops and help in marketing the products,” said Kharsyntiew.
He further added that the problem the farmers are faced with is marketing.
“We collect the seeds and get the schemes from the government but at the end of the day its marketing that is the biggest problem we face,” he said.
Along similar lines, Khrawbor Mawlong Umsning of Ri-Bhoi District Meghalaya, said, “70 percent in Meghalaya depends on agriculture and this portal is important as we will get a lot of information on government schemes and how to promote scientific farming”.
He also said that the main problem is marketing as the market price of agriculture products is set by the buyers and not farmers.
He requested the government to initiate direct marketing and direct price to farmers.