Tuesday, April 16, 2024

IFAD Country Director reviews farming activities

IFAD team visits Jakhama 1

Dimapur, November 20: Country Director of IFAD, Han Ulac Demirag on November 19, protracted his visit to the southern part of the Angami region to review the progress of activities being implemented under the IFAD-FOCUS.
Team IFAD Nagaland, spearheaded by APC and Mission Director FOCUS, Nagaland, Y Kikheto Sema accompanied him during the visit.

“I see lots of promising pilot activities and it is important to bring the right technology and enhance the production”, stated Demirag while visiting the project site at Sakabama and Jakhama village. He said the activities and designs have to be made on a really systematic build-up and a concrete plan.
He said he has seen positive stories in all the target groups and assured that he will look forward to approve a new structure of packages and design and a model developed to suit the Naga farming activities for the project to progress successfully.
Kikheto expressed gratitude that the Country Director has visited the State and assisted the farmers to undertake the project further.
The APC stated that project implementation was delayed due to various reasons relating to parliamentary elections and subsequently the surge of COVID-19.
He proposed to introduce a technology intervention in new tissue culture of potatoes. He stressed that ‘potato’ is next to rice as far as staple food is concerned and the shelf life is more, yet the traditional method of farming and the way the farmers are cultivating in such a terrain area makes it difficult for any surplus production of crops.
Therefore intervention of this new technology will reduce hardships and promote sustainable cultivation, he added.
Kikheto stated that CIP experts had visited and surveyed the project sites a month earlier and reported that the climatic conditions are suitable and favourable, therefore he assured that by the second week of December, progressive farmers and 4 technical officers from the State will be sent for a hands-on knowledge training to learn about the advantages of new tissue culture which is intended to be started by the next season with the consent of IFAD.
He further requested the IFAD to assist them in sponsoring during the activities taken up with the International Potato Centre (CIP) so that the project is not halted anywhere between the developmental stages.
Kikheto mentioned that the designs laid by the IFAD are appreciable however, he noted that few important activities which can really benefit the farming community need more focus. ‘We do not want to look at multiple activities which are not achievable; we are planning on few specific areas which are achievable’, added Kikheto and requested the IFAD to redesign and include some of the activities and packages which will suit the Naga farming activities.
He also suggested that convergent projects can be initiated between the community and the MGNREGA schemes for farm roads and other infrastructure development.

‘Food security and sustainability is possible only when there is availability of water and our people should not only depend on the rain for cultivating summer and winter crops’ he said.
The APC also appealed to focus on conservation of forest to reduce effects of climate change and urged them for a settled sustainable farming round the year rather than practicing jhum cultivation on the hilltops.
On interacting with the farmers at Jakhama, Country Director, Demerag was “amazed” at the farmers cultivating at an altitude of 2100 metres; the reason being low pest infestation at higher altitude.
However, the APC was of the view that with the new intervention of technology in tissue culture, farming will be possible in nearby low-lying areas which will yield better crops and enhance production and sustainability. (Page News Service)