Nagaland is facing a drought-like situation with reports coming in from across the state.

State agriculture production commissioner Y Kikheto Sema said this while addressing a “need based” meeting of all agri and allied departments in Nagaland Civil Secretariat conference hall in Kohima on Wednesday.

The meeting was called to discuss various difficulties and challenges being faced by departments in the State.

Sema expressed concern that seeds have not germinated due to shortage of water and shortfall of rain. He said the few seeds that have germinated have failed to survive.

Sema said reports of hail storms and attack on 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.

Saying that extra ordinary times call for extra ordinary measures, Sema asked the agri and allied departments to take stock of the situation and take up measures to meet the challenges faced by the people.

Immediate action should be taken in affected areas, he said.

Stating that 70% population of the state live in rural areas and are engaged in agricultural activities, Sema asked the qualified officers of the agri and allied departments to put their heads together and give solutions to the farmers.

“Agriculture cannot be stopped, even if there is a pandemic. We need to be prepared for any eventualities that may arise,” he stressed.

He called for the four “Cs”- cooperation, coordination, confidence and contribution – amongst the departments. He also appealed to the citizens of the state to maintain a kitchen garden in their own backyards.

Sema directed the agriculture and horticulture departments to assess the damage of seeds and replace them on an urgent need basis so that the farmers can use the season to replant and grow the crops.

He suggested purchasing of seeds from other allotted funds because of the urgency.

Sema urged the veterinary department to sensitise 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 added.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com