Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio inaugurated a newly constructed Farmers’ Market at Meriema close to IG Stadium, here on Tuesday.
In his address, Rio said the market was a hugely felt need for farmers especially the womenfolk who face tremendous hardships everyday selling their produces at different locations in the State capital.
Terming farmers as his “most beloved” section of the population, Rio expressed happiness that the complex would be utilised by them and to their benefit.
Apart from being an ideal complex for the farmers, Rio was hopeful that the market would also be able to draw out people into the outskirts of the town thereby easing traffic.
He observed that one of the main reasons behind terrible traffic in the city was because the general population was hugely concentrated only in the centre of the city causing congestion.
He suggested that all the colonies in Kohima should come up with their own market places so that people would avoid having to travel to the market on a regular basis and in turn lessen the traffic issues.
He strongly discouraged the practice of street vending on footpaths since food produces need to be kept clean.
Similar farmers market were constructed in the four directions of the district as pilot project and the other districts would also follow suit, he said.
While highlighting the need to promote and encourage local organic produces, CM hoped that such markets would prevent the inflow of fertilized food produces from flooding local markets.
He pointed out on the need to build cold storages to preserve local produces from being wasted while also regularizing local produces in order to enhance the economy.
He encouraged the citizens to take up farming activities for self-sustenance and also to help contribute in the economy.
While congratulating the various departments involved in the project including, Rural Development, Social Welfare and Youth Resources & Sports for the successful completion of the project, Rio also thanked other stakeholders including Chükehie Society and Meriema village.
Earlier, delivering the welcome address, director, Rural Development (RD), Azenuo Pienyü said the market was a hope and vision of the department to help farmers sell produces to meet the demand of organic vegetables and fruits.
Sharing the greetings, building construction incharge, Vibeilietuo Kets informed that the market was a dream project of the CM. He said the land was alloted to RD department by department of Social Welfare afterwhich the works began under the supervision of Chükehie Society.
Kets informed that the total cost of the project cost around Rs 4 Cr includes the extensive retaining wall constructed around the perimeter of the building to prevent landslips.
The building measures 170X63 ft and Kets informed that after electrification and department of Industries and Commerce would be installing Food processing machines to help prevent losses to the farmers.
Secretary, RD, Neposo Theluo, said that the new farmers market is one of the biggest farmers markets in the state and has the potential to become a place for rural market research with its ideal location.
He also cautioned those incharge of the market to prevent non-local vendors at the market as it would lead to closure of the market if such a situation takes place.
The inaugural was chaired by joint director, K Neibou Sekhose.
Dedicatory prayer was offered by Meriema Baptist Church, pastor, Rev Keduolhoulie Shüya, while vote of thanks was proposed by BDO, Chiephobozou, Seyiekhrielie Rio.