Kohima, April 29 (NEx): Agriculture Production Commissioner, Kikheto Sema, IAS called for a “Need Base” meeting of all Agri & Allied Departments of Nagaland to discuss the various difficulties and challenges being faced by the State on April 28th, 2021 at the Nagaland Civil Secretariat Conference Hall, Kohima.
The APC stated that Nagaland is facing a drought like situation with reports coming in from across the State. Seeds have not germinated due to shortage of water and shortfall of rain, and the few seeds that have germinated have failed to survive. He also said reports of hail storm and attack of crops by fall armyworm across the State have affected the crop production. Livestock farming has also been hit by the African swine flu and the foot and mouth disease, he added.
Stating that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, the APC called on the Agri & Allied Departments to take the situation into stock and take up the challenges faced by the people of the State. Immediate action should be taken in affected areas, he reiterated. Stating that 70% population of the State live in rural areas and are engaged in agriculture, he said that it was time the qualified officers of the Agri & 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. Sema called for the four “C’s”: cooperation, coordination, confidence and contribution amongst the department to fight the issue that lie ahead. He also appealed to the citizens of the State to maintain a kitchen garden in their own backyards.
Kikheto Sema instructed the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments to assess the damage of seeds and to replace them on urgent need bases so that the farmers can use the season to replant and grow the crops and suggested on purchasing of seeds from other allotted funds because of the urgency.
He also called on the Veterinary Department to sensitize the people on alternate livestock farming such as goat farming and poultry. Fishery is also another alternative towards sustaining food production in the State, he stated, and called on the Fishery Department to encourage people to practice rearing fishes. He urged the Sericulture department to create awareness on the importance of silk worm, and how easy and cheap it is to rear them.
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, PHED should work towards water conservation and water resource management. We should focus on saving and conserving rainwater with the theme “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls” covering both urban and rural areas in the State. He also called for creating awareness and importance of rainwater harvesting to Village Councils, Churches, NGOs and other organizations.
Kikheto also stressed on the need to plant trees across the State and said that Nagaland is a resource constrained state and cannot contribute towards monetarily towards the Center, however Nagaland can increase the ecological services and contribute towards creating a healthy ecological environment for the benefit of all. He called on all Departments of the State Government to plant trees in spaces available within their complex and urged Schools, NGOs, Churches to plant as many fruit trees as possible for the benefit of all.
The meeting was attended by AHoDs and HoDs of Agri and Allied Departments. Discussions, suggestions and action plans were addressed during the meeting.