DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 11: The Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) of Nagaland, Y Kikheto Sema attended the 25th regional committee meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) via video conference on December 11, and submitted 5 proposals.
According to a DIPR bulletin on Saturday, the APC pointed out that 59 years since Statehood, there is no national or regional institute worth mentioning in Nagaland.
Sema proposed setting up a College of Agriculture, under Central Agriculture University, at the State Agriculture Research Station (SARS), Yisemyong, in Mokokchung District.
He said that about 70% of the State’s population is engaged in agriculture, out of which 73% is under jhum agriculture, which is neither economically viable nor ecologically sustainable.
He however stated that jhum cultivation cannot be stopped hence there is a need for College of Agriculture, specialising in upland or hill agriculture technologies, which will benefit not only Nagaland but the entire hill region of Northeast India.
SARS, Yisemyong, is located at 1050 above mean sea level and has 132 hectares of State Government land.
Soil & Water Conservation Centre
The APC spelled out the need to conserve soil and water and create water bodies such as ponds, spring sheds, revival of springs, rain water harvesting, check dams, etc. He also stated that the Union Government had recently sanctioned Soil Testing Labs (STLs) in all the districts and Mini STLs in all the 74 blocks of the State.
He therefore proposed for a Regional Centre for Soil &Water Conservation to be established at Sechu-Zubza where the Soil & Water Conservation Research and Training Centreis located, having sufficient area of 21 hectares.
Livestock Centre on pigs
Sema said that Nagas are mostly pork lovers and the requirement is met through imports from other States. Meat worth about Rs 1,000 crore is imported annually to meet the local requirement, he informed.
Therefore, he proposed for a Regional Livestock Centre on pigs at Zunheboto district, which is centrally located in the State, from where pig feeds can be easily procured and processed even from nearby districts also.
“The State is by and large organic by default. However, there are no Institutes established to facilitate and screen the quality parameters, including certification body. The normal organic certification process takes three years. However, jhum fields remain productive only for two years during which most of the vegetables are produced,” he said.
Therefore, Sema suggested the possibility of certifying the produces as organic after two years.
Integrated Settled Farming
Sema also urged the committee to adopt the Naga Model of Integrated Settled Farming (NISF). He stated it should be adopted by all agri and allied Departments in a cluster mode.
“The most important factor under this model is the availability of water. The components include agriculture, horticulture, plantation crops, livestock, fisheries, sericulture, post- processing plants, farm roads, power connectivity, etc, forming into an economic or business hub, where the educated unemployed can also gainfully participate, ultimately turning into an agro-eco tourism”, he said.
The APC also informed that already this model is being implemented at Boke-Botsa in Kohima District as a pilot project and if Government of India promotes this model, jhum areas can be reduced and forest protected.
He also stated that most of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes and policies are designed for mainland India as one-size-fits-all programmes. Therefore, the policymakers and scientists should also focus on schemes specific to the Northeast.
He further proposed for a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) for Noklak District.
The meeting was attended by the senior Central officials, Vice Chancellors, Heads of ICAR institutions, scientists and officers of agri & allied Departments of the North-East Region.
(Page News Service)