The implementation of government schemes for the benefit of ordinary farmers in Meghalaya is being hampered by numerous vacancies in the Department of Agriculture, the opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) has written to the responsible minister, Ampareen Lyngdoh.
“As you are aware, agriculture is the backbone of our state’s economy where the majority of the population is dependent on agriculture and its allied sectors,” it said in a missive. “The department, therefore, requires serious attention not only in terms of the initiation of various schemes but more importantly to get them implemented. Effective delivery of the schemes and initiatives depends on the designated field officers. However, on this matter, it is disheartening to know that many posts have been lying vacant for several years, particularly in Ri-Bhoi district, which has the potential to be the breadbasket of the state.”
There are five posts for Agriculture Development Officer (ADO) vacant in the district as well as three Horticulture Development Officer (HDO) posts, the VPP said.
The ADO post in Bhoirymbong has been vacant the longest – since 2010 – while the HDO post in Nongpoh has been empty since 2013.
The minister was requested to fill the vacant position “to ensure the smooth and effective functioning of the concerned office.”
Additionally, the VPP wants more such posts in this sector created, especially in Ri-Bhoi and in other districts with potential in agriculture, horticulture, olericulture (vegetable growing), floriculture, etc.