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Naga legislators for overall economic uplift through farming

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Kohima, February 23: Not just lecturing but legislators in Nagaland have come together to show the way to the farmers in the State towards having a sustainable economy through Coffee plantation along with other low volume high-value crops in the State.
The initiative of Minister for Planning & Co-ordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Neiba Kronu, Advisor for Water Resources Namri Nchang and Advisor for National Highways and Treasuries & Accounts Dr. Longrineken comes following their tour to Myanmar and Laos in August last year to study the method of coffee plantation in the two countries for tourism and infrastructure promotion.
Having learnt the potentials of coffee plantation and the economic value in the world market, the legislators have decided to open up Coffee nursery in their respective Assembly constituency in Pfutsero in Phek district, Tening in Peren district and Janpetkong in Mokokchung district.
In an interactive session with media persons in the official residence of Minister Kronu, the legislators expressed that with the inability of the state to promote major industries and also government jobs reaching a saturation point, the need of the hour for the educated unemployed youth is getting back to the roots – “farming”, specially low volume-high value crops for overall economic uplift.
“We have already apprised our Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on the potentials of large scale coffee plantation in the State,” he said, adding that Nagas are faced with the unresolved political problem but we must not forget our day to day activity towards improving the economy of the State.
The State has problem of unemployment but the only way out is utilization of world’s youngest soil which is fertile to grow anything, he said.
Having assessed the world market by visiting Brazil in the month June and Myanmar and Laos in August last year, the Minister said “our state can offer coffee and honey, beside Arica Nut, Bamboo, Black Pepper in order to improve our economy”.
Stating that coffee can be grown in both hot (Robusta coffee) and cold (Arabica coffee) climatic conditions, Kronu expressed confidence Nagaland has the capability to produce the finest coffee in the world, which has huge demand in the European countries.
Moreover, expressing that protection of environment is a concern for all, he said coffee is a shed loving plant and therefore it plantation will automatically protect the environment.
He went on to state that Nagaland is rich in biodiversity and therefore is feasible of honey production through Bee keeping.
The Minister opined that tourist inflow to the state will also improve if Nagaland turns into a land of coffee and honey.
In order to improve the overall economy of the State, we have to focus on low volume high value crops, he said while being optimistic that Coffee, Bamboo, Honey, Arica Nut and Black Pepper would be help in achieving sustainable economy for the State.
Meanwhile, the Minister informed that the government has earmarked an amount of Rs 2 Crore under Land Resources Department for coffee production in the State during 2020-21.
He also said that earlier without experiment farmers were asked to do it which led to failure but now we the legislators ourselves are getting involved and taking up nurseries to encourage other farmers, while the government has also decided to open coffee shops in all the districts, which will also create awareness on the coffee plantation.
Advisor Longrineken said Nagas are blessed people as unlike other mainland India, where the land does not belong to the people or may be it would under landlords but in Nagaland there will be hardly anybody without their ancestral land, he said, adding that our land is very fertile and also with the geographical condition there is no much fear of major flood conditions.
Recalling that in the early 1980s massive coffee plantation had taken place but without proper market linkages and improper guidance it was a failure, he said currently there have been much improvement in the awareness.
“We say Nagas are farmers but have to depend on Assam and other states for every item, and therefore Nagas have to move back to the roots,” Dr Longrineken said.
Advisor Namri Nchang while supplementing emphasized on the need for Nagas to realize dignity of labour instead of continuing to hunt for government jobs alone. There is lot of scope in farming, he said while maintaining that the educated Naga youths have to take the lead and show the way to fuly utilize the God gifted fertile land.
Meanwhile, on lack of collection points, Minister Kronu asserted that there was no dirt of market but it all depends on the ability to meet the market demand and once massive production starts government will make arrangement for buyers to directly deal with the farmers.
“Nagas at the situation can’t look for big industries but once we get back to farming, it can thoroughly improve our economy,” Kronu affirmed.
Nursery production has to start in a big way, he said while informing that the government is importing sizeable quantity of quality coffee seeds from Myanmar to be distributed among the farmers who will sincerely engage in mass scale coffee cultivation. (Page News Service)

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