The Nagaland Horticulture Department distributed winter seeds to 170 villages in the State for Covid-19 post-pandemic economic recovery activities.
Adviser to Horticulture and Border Affairs Mhathung Yanthan flagged off the distribution of the seeds at the Horticulture Directorate in Kohima on Thursday.
The seeds were procured under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) 2021-22 and North Eastern Council (NEC) 2020-21 schemes.
Addressing the distribution programme, Yanthan said the Nagas have learned a great lesson during the pandemic to produce enough for themselves and enough for marketable surplus so that that they get economic returns.
Keeping this in view Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has taken the initiative and the programme was conceptualised, he stated.
Yanthan said Nagaland has enough surplus production but no proper market or proper post-harvest technology and no market channelizing. He stressed that the farmers have to be encouraged to do farming in real business venture and consider themselves as entrepreneurs.
In this regard, he asked the Horticulture Department to extend their services to the farmers effectively. He also called upon the department and farmers to take advantage of the air cargo facility in Dimapur airport.
“The people should take the opportunity of the potential scope and facilities that different departments and agencies are providing,” Yanthan added.
He appreciated the department for timely procurement of the winter vegetable seeds although there was no sanction. He said the department purchased the seeds on credit in order to ensure that they reach the farmers on time.
Agriculture Production Commissioner Y Kikheto Sema requested the farmers to preserve the seeds for future use.
Sema acknowledged the department for working tirelessly for the farming community at the time of pandemic and arranging the winter seeds in advance.
Under the funds provided by NEC for the year 2020-21, he said, the department provided quality vegetable seeds to the farmers for whole year cultivation, identifying l00 vegetable villages covering 11 districts that include 10,000 households. Under the MIDH during 2021-22 scheme, 1,000-hectare area will be covered under vegetables wherein the villages were adopted as vegetable villages by the department and are supported with vegetable seeds for both kharif and rabi season, he added.
So far, there are over 70 vegetable villages covering all the districts of the State.
Sema stated that the concept behind these vegetable villages is to increase the quantum of vegetable production so that there is marketable surplus which can contribute to increase in the income of the villagers by way of sale of the vegetables. This will also ensure availability of vegetables for consumption of the farmers and contribute to their nutritional security, he added.