A-day long training cum seminar was organized at Nagashine tea estate, Lumami on April 13 where 119 farmers from 10 villages of Akuluto sub division attended the programme.
Ahovi Sumi in his key note address briefed on the policies of the government to eradicate poverty and make Nagaland a hunger free state by 2020.
Advocating the scope of organic tea in domestic and international market, MLA, I. Kheto Kinny and proprietor of Nagashi Tea said Nagaland was called “Kingdom of Villages” having large number of villages but the ironically, the villages were poor in agriculture produce in spite of having 82.6% of the population engaged in farming.
The reason Kheto stressed was that 75 % of farmers relied on Jhum farming thus putting everything to the mercy of the nature.
He said now that people were aware of its ill effects, the demand for organic food had soared and that the people were willing to pay premium for organic food.
Citing example of organic tea from Darjeeling sold at Rs. 5000 per kg to as high as Rs. 35,000 per kg in the domestic market and the same commodity fetching as high as Rs. 1.2 lakhs per kg in the international market, he stated with suitable agro climatic condition and rich natural resources there was no reason why Naga farmers can not achieve the feat.
While the status and the scope of Tea plantation and department policies on tea plantation in Nagaland was explained in detail by Nosezolie, deputy director, agriculture, procedure involved for getting organic certification was highlighted by Ibomcha, Sr. Inspector, One Cert Asia, and technical aspects involved for organic tea production delivered by James, agriculture officer and Atoi Sema, SDAO, Akuluto.
The tea farmers on their part expressed gratitude to proprietor of taking the initiative and also thanked agriculture department for the concern shown towards tea growers.