Central team meets famine-hit Mizo farmers

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Aizawl, Apr 01 (UNI) An inter-ministerial team, led by cenral agriculture joint secretary Pankaj Kumar, is currently touring Mizoram's countryside to study the ground reality of the bamboo flowering-caused famine.

The team officials, after meeting farmers at Phulpui and Sateek villages near here yesterday, left for Kolasib district today.

As many as 90 families of Phulpui village depend on sugarcane farming and the average annual income of each family was between Rs 30,000-Rs 80,000.

However, these farmers have been rendered with virtually no harvest this year due to the rodent menace, a consequent of bamboo flowering last year, the central team was informed.

The orange farmers of these two villages whose annual income was Rs 50,000-Rs 1,00,000 have also lost almost their entire crop to the rodent attacks. Even today, rodents are still gnawing at their orange trees, witnesses said.

About 130 of the 190 families of Sateek depend on rice cultivation, but their annual produce was reduced to only three tons of rice, the central team was also informed.

The central team will visit as many villages as possible and will submit its report to New Delhi to avail Centre's aid to Mizoram.

UNI ZS PC AB 1608

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