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Farming in Nagaland hit by drought-like situation

Dimapur, April 28: Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), Kikheto Sema on Wednesday said that Nagaland is facing a drought-like situation now, with reports of farmers struggling coming in from across the State.

According to a DIPR report, Sema said this during a need basis meeting of all Agri and allied departments of Nagaland, to discuss the various difficulties and challenges being faced by the State, at Nagaland Civil Secretariat conference hall in Kohima.
Seeds have not germinated due to shortage of water and shortfall of rain, and the few to germinate have failed to survive, he said.
The APC also said that hailstorms and attack on crops by fall armyworm across the State have affected production. Livestock farming has been hit by the African swine flu and the foot and mouth disease, he added.
Stating that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, Sema called on the Agri and allied aepartments to take up the challenges faced by the people of the State. Immediate action should be taken in affected areas, he reiterated.
Pointing out that 70% of the State’s population live in rural areas and are engaged in agriculture, he stated that it was time for the qualified officers of Agri and allied departments to put their heads together and give solutions to the farmers.
“Agriculture cannot be stopped even if there is a pandemic and we need to be prepared for any eventualities that may arise,” he said, and appealed to the citizens of the State to maintain a ‘kitchen garden’ in their own backyards.
Sema instructed the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments to assess the damage of seeds and to replace them urgently so that farmers can still replant and grow the crops within this season.
He also suggested purchasing of seeds from other allotted funds because of the urgency. He called upon the Veterinary Department to sensitise the people on alternate livestock farming such as goat farming and poultry.
Fishery is also another alternative for sustaining food production in the State, the APC said, and urged the department to encourage people to practice rearing fishes.
He also urged Sericulture Department to create awareness on silkworm rearing.
The APC, who is also the nodal officer for Jal Shakti Abhiyan, stressed on water conservation and rainwater harvesting. He stated that Land Resource Department, Water Resources Department, and PHED should work towards water conservation and water resource management.
He also called for creating awareness on rainwater harvesting among village councils, churches, NGOs and other organisations.
Sema further stressed on the need to plant trees across the State. He said that Nagaland is a resource constraint-State but can ‘increase the ecological services’ and contribute towards creating a healthy ecological environment for the benefit of all.
The meeting was attended by AHoDs and HoDs of Agri and allied departments.
(Page News Service)