Dimapur, November 19: Country Director of IFAD, Han Ulac Demirag stated that he was impressed with the initiatives and achievements and vision of the people, during a visit to a project site at Nerhema and Gariphema village farm along with the APC and Mission Director FOCUS, Nagaland, Y. Kikheto Sema, IAS, State Project Director- FOCUS, S. Tainiu and a team of Agri officials on November 18.
Demirag expressed satisfaction on the exotic and organic ‘greens’ cultivated in Nagaland and stressed on the need to tackle on environment and climate related issues by the project.
APC Nagaland, Kikheto briefed on the practical and theoretical stages involved in the progress of the projects under FOCUS. His key focus was on the integrated sustainable cropping and stressed on the need to make Jhum sustainable agriculture. Jhum system covers 60% of the area under food grain cultivation, and about half of rural households are engaged in jhum cultivation therefore he urged the farmers to study and practice intercropping without further damaging the forest area causing loss of biodiversity, which will contribute a lot in maintaining the ecosystem.
He stressed on the importance of water, soil and moisture conservation in the cycle of crops cultivation. He reminded that the site at Nerhema and Gariphema faces critical water shortage due to lack of proper storage and infrastructure hence, crops fails to produce at their fullest capacity. He explained the hardships of cultivation on hilly regions which are in immediate need of water-bodies, road connectivity and storage for the produce.
Earlier, the APC mentioned that Nagaland being a very fertile land and a biodiversity hotspot where climate change adaptation is of critical importance for the largely rural population, he was also perturbed with the low availability of water in parts of the region and suggested the intervention of soil and moisture conservation, drip-irrigation, water bodies for sustainable cropping whole round the year should be encouraged and implemented. He also laid special emphasis on providing marketing support for the farmers’ produce while also calling for value addition to it.
In an interaction with the Agri allied Chairman, Gariphema, the Chairman narrated that through Agri and Allied department seeds and materials were collected and planted which have resulted producing surplus in some crops over the years, since then this has improved in generating better income. Coffee, avocado, black pepper, lime/orange, persimmon, ginger etc were some of the crops cultivated. Road connectivity and water bodies constructed by IFAD FOCUS have contributed much in making their livelihood easier, he added.
(Page News Service)