IMPHAL, Nov 29: The investigative report which appeared in the IFP edition on November, 27, on the recent sale of fraudulent kitchen pea rather than high yield seeds to the farmers of the state by the State Agriculture department has still not come to the notice of Subhas Ghat, joint secretary ministry of agriculture, Government of India who is in the state to overview the programme of the state agriculture departments including the Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) and Integrated pastes Management (IPM) for Rabi cropping.
The visiting Central officer admitted this during a field visit of the sites where the state agriculture department has selectively taken up as demonstration farms under INM and INM at Nongpok Lourembam village under Thoubal district today.
He said, the ministry of agriculture, Government of India, and himself were not aware of the news report on the supply of untreated seeds to the farmer by the department which came to light recently.
The Central officer while answering further queries raised by the media, he was coming to know of this matter only now thanks to the queries from the media team. He said it was very unfortunate on the part of the officials concerned of the department not to provide updates on such a major information to the visiting Central official.
He said this has clearly shown the negligence and irresponsible nature of the concerned departmental officer as it is obvious they are trying to conceal the irregularities.
While taking comments, officials of the state agriculture department who accompanied the field visit said the recent discovery of untreated peas seeds in the stock kept for distribution to farmers of the state was the doing of approved seed suppliers to the department and the matter has been seriously dealt by the department.
The visiting Central officer, on his second day in the state capital attended a joint high level meeting this afternoon chaired by chief secretary, DS Poonia along with official representatives of the Rastriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY), and officials concerned of the state agricultural department.
According to a highly placed official source, the joint official meeting approved implementation of the RKVY scheme in the state saying this is meant to provide major development in the field of agriculture and allied activities.
With the approval to implement the scheme in the state there is a probability of receiving funds from the centre amounting about Rs. 16 to 17 crore for the first phase.
Beside, the successful implementation of the said scheme in the first will amount to increase in allocation of the funds under scheme the official source added.
As part of the field visit the official team led by the Subash Ghat inspected the site where state government has taken up minor and medium types of irrigation systems including at Charangpat Nepra Awang Leikai and Sangai Yumpham in Thoubal district and a scheme of the state agriculture department for the plantation of pea at Nongpok Lourembam village in Thoubal.
The central officer will be staying in the state till tomorrow and will overview the projects and schemes taken up by the state agriculture department in the state, the official source added.