Bamboo flowering stalks Kwatha

Bamboo flowering stalks Kwatha

IMPHAL, Dec 10: Kwatha village, which is located near the State’s border with Myanmar, under Tengnoupal district and is famous for its fermented bamboo shoots (Soibum), is experiencing rapid decrease in the volume of agricultural produce due to widespread case of bamboo flowering.
Bamboo flowering rapidly increases the population of rodents which then feed on all the standing crops.
The situation came to light after a team of media persons went to the area, as a part of a trip organised by Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Manipur, on Friday and Saturday.
The village, which is situated around 7 kilometres from Khudengthabi AR check post along the Asian Highway 1, began to witness bamboo flowering some two years back.
Making fermented bamboo shoots, charcoal and farming are the main source of income for the village, which is populated by around 410 individuals from 71 households.
The recent bamboo flowering has led to an increase in the number of rodents, thus leading to a sharp decline in the agricultural production of the village.
According to Angom Budhi, a member of Kwatha Village Authority, the production of soibum has decreased drastically.
Rice production has also fallen by around 40 percent and it is next to impossible to cultivate vegetables, including U morok, due to the rodents, he added.
He further stated that it will take around 9 to 10 years for the village to start producing fermented bamboo shoots again as they have to wait for the bamboo flowering to stop and for the new bamboo saplings to reach cultivable stage.
Budhi told the media persons that deforestation of the nearby areas to produce charcoal has taken its toll on the environment and now the villagers have to treak far in search for the materials to produce charcoal.
Explaining the plight of the villagers, Budhi appealed to the State Government to provide an alternate form of livelihood for Kwatha villagers like pineapple and Haribop cultivation or animal husbandry.
It may be mentioned that Kwatha village is among the two villages (the other being Takhel, Imphal Est district) selected to be transformed into a model village by Rajya Sabha MP, K Bhabananda under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
On the other hand, Angom Budhi claimed that tension is high among the villagers of Kwatha after the Myanmar Government tried to encroach about 200 to 300 metres onto the India side of the border.
Similar issues also occurred at Govajang (near Moreh) and at Satang, he claimed and added that the Indo-Myanmar border pillar number 81 falls under Kwatha village.
Budhi also appealed to the Government to black top the village road leading upto Asian Highway 1.
He also lamented the pathetic condition of the health care facility present in the village and appealed to the authority concerned for necessary actions.

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