Neglected Lohit ASPF needs proper attention of GoAP

From Our Correspondent

TEZU, Dec 30: The Agriculture Seed Production Farm (ASPF), one of the oldest in the state set up here in 1958, grows very little quantity of seasonal crops in the vast area spread in 22.50 hectare for the sake of earning revenue.

The ASPF is meant to produce high yielding seeds of mustard, paddy, soybeans, millets, buckwheat, sesamum and maize but unfortunately its purpose has been lost due to apathetic attitude of the GoAP.

It was set up with the basic purpose of research and development (R&D) activities to produce new bred seeds suitable for tropical and sub-tropical climatic conditions and to examine their suitability in local soil and climate.

These new seeds once prove their worth would be disbursed among farmers of the district. But, regrettably “we have no R&D activity except producing only seasonal crops to cover the field.  Thus, the GoAP should pay due attention to revitalize the farm by introducing innovative technology to boost the agriculture sector”, said an ASPF official on condition of anonymity.

A local senior citizen recalled that “there was no outside supply during 70s and 80s due to acute communication hazards and the ASPF was catering to demands of this township with varieties of its products, which used to be sold like hot cake. But its present status is pitiable”

Tropical and sub-tropical crops were introduced in the foothills and valley areas of the state by sowing seeds of ASPF with higher yields resulting in remunerative earnings. But the GoAP’s negative attitude has left the farm neglected with its status a glittering proof reflecting that Atma Nirbhar Bharat and ‘Local for Vocal’ mantras of the GoAP are mere slogans but not practical.

“The ASPF, if revitalized, could demonstrate, guide, motivate and encourage local farmer to boost their production for self reliance, but the farmers are discouraged way it is ignored in a state, whose mainstay is agri-horticulture farming,” lamented another official.

Annual fund allocation to ASPF having sufficient staff, including, agronomist, entomologist, research officer and farm manager, is too meager to meet its basic requirements.” the official resented, adding “if is struggling for  survival with no activity and the farmer are losing hopes for  want of good variety seeds”, claimed a farmer.

But introduction of few income generating schemes by the GoAP could boost local economy, but the GoAP has turned away its attention towards ASPF and Bolung Agriculture Farm in Lower Dibang Valley district too, having pitiable status now, the official added.

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