Tura(Meghalaya), June 3 : The Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma distributed Payment for Eco-System Services (PES) Cheques and other programmes simultaneously in the presence of Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Government of Meghalaya Dr.M Ampareen Lyngdoh today at the impressive function held at Matchakolgre L P School Playground, New Tura.
Other programmes line up for the day are Flagging off of PRIME Agriculture Response Vehicles by Agriculture Department, Felicitation of HSSLC and SSLC Toppers, Plantation of Saplings Initiative under District Plantation Mission, West Garo Hills, Free Saplings Distribution by Social Forestry Division, West Garo Hills, Launch of MegLife- Plantation Drive, Seed Ball Initiative- Distribution of Seed Balls and Demonstration and KYAN Kit distribution.
Addressing the gathering, Conrad Sangma said that different schemes of various departments in the State are being distributed in this programme for the benefit and welfare of the people of the State. Reiterating on the importance of these schemes, he said that the Government executes the plan and policies and implement it but the success of these programmes largely depends on the support and cooperation of the people and society as a whole. Therefore, he urged everyone to work together and protect and preserve the environment for future generations as well as to combat climate change.
Stating that about 80 percent of the people of the State are farmers, he said that we need to work in collaboration with farmers in order to bring a change in economic development of the region. Informing that about 50, 000/- youth are entering the work force every year and that only 1000 government post are available in the State in a year, therefore, agriculture, food processing, tourism sector, IT sector, etc should be focused and develop avenues in these sectors to provide job opportunities to other 49,000/- youths of the region.
The Chief Minister also informed that along with the Agriculture Response Vehicles, the government has also provided solar powered Cold Storage facilities so that the unsold agricultural products can be stored in these facilities.
Congratulating the successful toppers of the region in the recently conducted examination by the Meghalaya Board of School Education, he said that apart from achieving in academics, the character of a person including discipline, hard work, and dedication helps to build up a person’s character and urged the students to develop these values and become productive citizens in future.
Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, M Ampareen Lyngdoh said that change in the governance and planning process can be seen where the government had empowered the people and the people are engaged with responsibilities and activities and work towards greater development to bring change in the State. She also shared her observation that educated people are also helping their parents in agricultural activities which can address unemployment to some extent and urged them to make use of the available lands which can produce healthy organic products for the people of the region.
It may be mentioned that Payment for Eco-System Scheme is meant to support villages, communities, clan or individuals that commit to conserve and protect Natural Forest for a minimum period of 30 years. Villages, communities, clans or individuals that have a minimum of 2 hectares of Natural Forest are eligible under this scheme. The financial support given in this scheme is Rs. 8000/- per hectare per year for 5 years and additional amount Rs 5000/- will be given if the forest is notified as community reserve with Forest Department or is covered under Working Scheme with the Autonomous District Council and Rs 2000/- per hectare per year, if the Forest is very dense forest or traditionally recognized Sacred Groove or has Living Root Bridge or is located in Eco-Sensitive zone around protected areas such as National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuary or in Wildlife Corridors.
The Chief Minister Conrad Sangma along with Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department M Ampareen Lyngdoh felicitated the SSLC and HSSLC Toppers in the recently conducted Examination by the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE), Tura. 1st Rank holder Samridhya Das from Sherwood School, 3rd position Ritam Deep Choudhary and Salrime M Sangma from Sherwood School and St. Xavier’s School respectively, 4th position Ronggrik B Sangma from Aeroville School, 6th position Sanskrita Karmakar from Sherwood School, 17th position Riktean M Marak and Shelim Islam from Aeroville School and Bhaitbari Sec School respectively, 18th position Joyrani Das and Raqib Raonaq Abtahee from Jawaharlal Nehru Sec School, Phulbari and Janapriya Sec. School Bholarbita respectively were given Citation, Cash Award and memento during the function.
The Chief Minister also flagged off the PRIME Agriculture Response Vehicle Scheme to ten IVCS from Garo Hills region comprising of Jangrapara IVCS Ltd., Chichang IVCS Ltd, Haripur Farmers’ Society, Dondime Multipurpose Society, Kucholsan IVCS Ltd, Upper Kharkutta Four Brothers IVCS Ltd, Songbri IVCS Ltd, Bakrime IVCS Ltd, Kentrikona IVCS Ltd., and Pangcharik Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd. This scheme is to facilitate farmers in remote areas to transport their agricultural products to the respective designated marketplaces with 50 percent subsidy.
Further, in order to restore the natural vegetation by improvement of degraded forest, afforestation on barren lands, restoration of shifting cultivation, MEGLIFE Plantation Initiative was also launched on the occasion. The total plantation target area is about 22,500 hectares across the State while 1574.84 hectares is the target area in Garo Hills region.
As part of the World Environment Day celebration and implementing Mission Life which is a Government of India Initiative and aims to mobilize at least one billion Indians and other global citizens to take individual and collective action for protecting and conserving the environment in this period 2022-2028 , the Social Forestry Division, West Garo Hills is distributing saplings to everyone and about 5 lakh saplings would be planted across the State by involving communities, students, development committees, line departments, etc and form a part of Mission Life initiative and help achieve the target.
Integrated Digital Training Device (KYAN) was also distributed to the schools which provide an interactive teaching and learning environment in a mobile package ideal for use in communitities. The device has which end computer, high luminosity projector, powerful audio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, audio video conferencing facility and built in interactive touch feature packed into single device. The project is being implemented by the Community Led Landscape Management Project (CLLMP).
Seed Ball Initiative for Greening Meghalaya was also launched during the function and the Seed Balls would be disperse where 75000 children would take part. The Seed ball initiative is expected to enhance the green cover in a widespread manner by simply throwing them manually or using catapults for dispersing them to a distance and by using drones for dispersing seed balls in remote areas.
The Chief Guest along with Guest of Honour distributed the PES cheques, Keys to PRIME beneficiaries and also planted saplings during the function.
West Garo Hills, Deputy Commissioner, Jagdish Chelani, Director and Co-Chairman, Centre of Excellence, MBMA, Dr Subhash Ashutosh, Secretary, Dondime Multi-Purpose Society Ltd, Balachanda B R Marak were among other who spoke on the occasion while Director, Department of Agriculture, Shillong Joplin C Lyngdoh, other distinguished dignitaries, District Officers, PES beneficiaries, IVCS Members, Students and others were present during the function.