ITANAGAR, April 12 – Arunachal Pradesh government is giving special thrust to creating gainful employment opportunities for youths, especially in tea and rubber plantation schemes.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, who convened a meeting here yesterday to create a separate Tea and Rubber Board, asked the departmental officials to expedite the process in order to facilitate the interested youths take up horticulture and cash crop farming.
He also urged the officials to prepare feasible plans and formulate it for execution in the current financial year, official source said here today.
Tuki sought to encourage progressive farmers who have been growing tea in their respective areas with their own limited resources. He asked the department of trade and commerce, which is the nodal department for encouraging cash crops, to prepare a prospective tea road map for Arunachal Pradesh for the beneficiaries.
He advocated establishing a branch office of Tea Board in the state capital so that the small tea growers can avail benefits from such institutions.
Taking serious note of the practice of jhum cultivation in the state, the chief minister stressed the need for converting the jhum lands into organic tea cultivation fields.
“The areas already used for jhum cultivation may be converted into organic tea cultivation fields with suitable plan,” Tuki told officials of the concerned department, sources said.
Tuki observed that due to the practice of jhum, the forests of the State have been dwindling alarmingly. He also said that the forest fire generated through such jhum cultivation practice had been a menace for the state government. “Besides substituting the jhum cultivation, tea and rubber plantations, if encouraged in right perspective, would substantially increase the forest cover which stands at 82 per cent at present”, he said.
Tuki called for a collective effort to increase the green cover so that Arunachal Pradesh could find a place in the second green revolution programme of the Centre. He asked the department of trade and commerce to expedite the process of organic certification by engaging a competent party.
Giving specific directive to the forest department to issue NOC to the farmers interested for taking up tea and rubber plantation in their respective areas, Tuki assured to provide adequate fund for establishing Tea factories wherever required in the State. – PTI