Post Mortem


By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/5/2020 12:23:52 PM IST

 The COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown taught us a lesson- the need to have a kitchen garden and to keep some livestock and poultry birds at the backyard. Foresightedly Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru had then said-“ Everything else can wait but not agriculture”, we may shut down all other activities but not agricultural activities.

Hydroponics is a method of growing vegetables, fruits, berries in a solution of water and nutrients without using soil. The concept is gaining ground because of its various advantages compared to growing in a soil like it grows faster and yields more by 20 percent or so. It is suitable for apartment dwellers and those who have less ground space as it can be set up in balconies, roof tops, terraces or any available space in the house.
This is another form of pot and terrace gardening. Flowers, greens, shrubs of different species and varieties use to adorn every Naga house. Now, leaving aside hydroponics which is still- away technology, we can convert some of the pots into vegetables and berries pots which will not only be handy in the kitchen but is organic and stylish as well. Or else if one has a free terrace that has less chance of polluting and contaminating the next doors, one can keep some poultry birds. Than what about commercial livestock and poultry farming  ?
The COVID 19 lockdown came after Christmas and all other possible festivals and celebrations.
By then, all backyard fattened kahori had been slaughtered and with no kuru around us, every colony were stealthily searching for any available fattener and found the last surviving one. The poor fellow was slaughtered but 2 kilos per household (though wanted 5 or 10 kilos) as the whole colony wanted at least a bite of it so 2 kilos to all. Hyperbolic it may sound but this is the stark reality we have to face in times of any unwarranted situations.
The COVID 19 lockdown also taught us one more lesson- Social distancing or interpreted as to avoid staying in congested habitations, the way to be safe from any contagious and infectious diseases. Here people in the villages and small towns were in more advantageous situation as there were less congestion and the population homogeneous. Sikkim with the least population density was untouched by the COVID 19 and for that matter almost all the hilly north eastern region was practically safe from the pandemic. It is time we also disperse ourselves to our God given vales and rolling hills not only to stay healthy and safe but also in search of food.
Due to high initial capital investment, resource poor small and marginal farmers cannot venture into commercial agriculture, horticulture, fishery, animal husbandry farming. It is the resource rich capitalists who have land and resources to invest in such ventures and thereby not only become ourselves self reliant on food but also give sustainable livelihood opportunities to the marginal and educated youth. We hear of rich farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Kerala but never think of ourselves as one. Agribusiness is one enterprise that we can start and do headstrong as there is huge unfailing market.
Dr. N. Mhonchan Shitiri

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