District Horticulture Officer (DHO), West Khasi Hills, W Marbaniang has called for closer cooperation and interaction between farmers and officers of the agriculture and horticulture departments.
He was speaking as chief guest at the celebration of Meghalaya Farmers’ Day held at the DHO office complex at Nongstoiñ today. The celebration was organised by Hills Farmers Union, West Khasi Hills.
“Farmers should cooperate with officers of the agriculture and horticulture departments. They should come forward and raise their grievances and also give their suggestions to the officers,” Marbaniang said.
He also said that farmers should fully utilize whatever assistance given by the government for their welfare in order to boost agricultural production in the district.
Guest of honour and District Agriculture Officer (DAO), P Wahlang said that farmers are the pillars of the economy. “If there are no farmers, there will be no food,” he said.
“Farmers are very hard working people. They brave the heat and cold and harsh weather conditions. Sadly, officers of the various government offices do not respect the farmers when they visit the offices for any help. The farmers were made to wait for hours and even they had to return home without getting a chance to meet the officers,” Wahlang said.
“If officers don’t know how to respect farmers, how do they expect farmers to cooperate with the government,” he added.
The celebration of Meghalaya Farmers’ Day at Nongstoin began with the unfurling of the flag of Hills Farmers’ Union (HFU). The programme was chaired by HFU West Khasi Hills president Sakahaïus Tympuiñ.
Meanwhile, the chief guest gave away awards and mementos to several farmers who have contributed a lot for agriculture in West Khasi Hills.
They included Sngewbhalin Paliar, a woman from Umwali who fought against the Assam police trying to snatch her farmland, and Chestar Kharbani, a law student from Pyndengrei who gave up his law career and chose farming.
A special award was given to a retired police officer D Parïong who ventured into farming and livestock rearing after his retirement from service.