The price tag for being an organic state by default seemed hefty with the state Mission Director, Horticulture, Dr N Benjong Aier outlaying the intricacies attached with it.
He pointed out that the implementation of organic policy among the local farmers has affected the production of crops bringing it drastically downwards while at the same time farmers have not been able to get the expected price. This, he asserted, has led to flooding of ‘high chemical content’ vegetables in the market grown by illegal migrants and from neighboring towns of Assam.
The worst fear of many health conscious people was further concurred with Dr Aier opining that the consumption of vegetables containing high level of chemicals such as DDT, pesticides etc have led to the rise of cancer patients in Dimapur alone.
“Our people go for attractiveness of the vegetables rather than the nutritional value and chemical contents in it” he said. While at the same time he also elucidated that being an organic state was good but should be in specific area or village so that a balance is maintained. Citing examples of China and India in ginger production, the Mission Director pointed out that when China overtook India as the leading producer of ginger, South Korea came forward to buy the products but out rightly rejected for the high chemical content.
As a result, the excess produce was dumped into India which ultimately led the ginger rates to fall to an all time low.
Dr Aier said these while addressing farmers at the one day training on summer crops which was held at state horticulture nursery, Dimapur.
Stressing on the need for increasing the production of vegetables in the state, Dr Aier stated that vegetables cannot be substituted at any cost and with a rapid increase in human population, the onus upon the farmers have only increased. However, at the same time he also cautioned that a practical approach was needed to address the production issue rather than using various kinds of fertilizers, pesticides etc excessively.
Impressing upon the farmers to research the market properly and understand the dynamics of demand and supply, Dr Aier pointed out the example of Longkhum village where excess production of tomatoes ruined the market prospects of the farmers, who cultivated more tomato plants after the initial success story. “Try to diversify your vegetables crops rather concentrating on one crop” he asserted.
He also asserted that resource persons for the training were chosen up from the department rather than other states since only a local officer would fully understand the problems faced by the farmers by bridging the communication gap.
Later, after the inaugural programme, the training was carried out by Horticulture Extension Assistant (HEA) Along Tzudir and Neisetuonuo. The various crops covered under the training included lady’s finger, brinjal, cucurbits, chilies, tomatoes and beans. Earlier, the welcome speech was delivered by District Horticulture Officer (DHO) Dimapur Eyongol Natso who also chaired the programme.
Some of the vegetable villages include Bade, New Chumukedima and Khughavi under Dimapur district.
Organic crops produced at various villages are shown below:
Name of the vegetable village Vegetable
Chobama (Tsufume)- Phek. Cabbage, Potatoes.
Zhavami- Phek. Cabbage, Potatoes.
Longkhum-Mokokchung Tomato, Potatoes and Chilli.
Chendang- Tuensang Potatoes and Kolar
Kidema-Kohima Cabbage, Potatoes and Radish.
Dzulakie Cabbage, Potatoes.
Tesen- Peren Potatoes & Naga Chilli.
Kiltomi - Zunheboto Cabbage, Potatoes and Beans