Monday, August 8, 2022

Traditional agriculture practices of Nagaland, NE different: APC

Agriculture production commissioner (APC) Y Kikheto Sema said the traditional system of agriculture practised in Nagaland and other North-eastern States was different and unique, which was not adequately included in the curriculum and syllabus of any university in the country.
Giving a presentation on Naga Model Integrated Settled Farming (NMISF), which was in line with the natural farming system, at the two-day National Conference of agriculture ministers of States at Bengaluru from July 14 to 15, he admitted that the practice of jhum was not economically viable and ecologically sustainable. Hence, he suggested that the Union government should adopt policies and schemes in line with NMISF for Nagaland and the North-eastern region.
Since most of the Centrally-sponsored schemes (CSS) had geo-physical constraints as they were to a large extent designed as “one-size-fit-all approach”, he urged policy makers to visit the Northeast, including Nagaland, observe the local farming practices on the ground and then prepare schemes for the benefit of farming community of the region. He also highlighted implementation of NMISF post Covid-19 in the State.
Sema claimed that the newly-initiated Naga model was expected to wean away farmers from traditional shifting cultivation and protect environment through judicious use of natural resources, ensure double cropping with provision of off-season irrigation facilities and water bodies to provide steady and stable income, promote value chain & marketing linkages through commodity-based farmer producer organisations (FPOs), encourage migration from urban to rural areas for taking up farming and help develop agro-eco tourism/farm township.
The APC also raised several issues with the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare like release of funds during the fag end of financial years that were credited only in April, making it difficult to produce utilisation certificates (UC) for the same financial year. He also highlighted difficulties in digital payment systems like DBT, PFMS, etc, as 27 of the 74 blocks in Nagaland were unbanked. He also called for revision of cost norms for CSS for Nagaland and the region as the cost norms were different from other parts of the country.
The two-day conference was attended by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Health & Family Welfare and Fertiliser Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya, Karnataka chief minister BS Bommai, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Shobha Karandlaje, State agriculture ministers and APCs, agriculture secretaries and senior officers of States.


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