177 villages suffer harbingers of Mautam

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Aizawl, Sep 20(UNI) As many as 177 villages have already suffered rodent attacks on their crops, understood to be harbingers of the dreaded Mautam (bamboo flowering) famine.

Mizoram Agriculture Minister H Rammawi told the Assembly yesterday that of the 177 villages, 70 were heavily damaged, 65 moderately and 42 low.

He added that of the total 89,496 farmers' families in this hilly state, 28,195 were dependent on jhum cultivation and the remaining on wet rice farming.

Replying to a separate question from Congress MLA R Lalzirliana, the minister informed that turmeric cultivation, introduced from this year to contain Mautam, could be harvested from next year.

He stated that his department had spent Rs 15,25,01,657 for import of 1,04,375 quintals of turmeric seeds from a Guwahati-based and Aizawl-based agencies. He further informed the House that a Kolkata-based company was selected to purchase the turmeric.

UNI

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