Kohima, April 16 (EMN): Minister for Land Resources, Transport, Civil Aviation and Railways, P Paiwang Konyak on Monday launched the ‘100 days achievable target and programmes’ of the state’s Land Resources department (LRD) in Kohima.
Complying with the cabinet’s decision of March 8, the 100 days programmes will cover three important sectors: distribution of coffee saplings and plantation; distribution of robber sheet rollers; and development of springshed management.
At the launch of the programme, Konyak said the government’s target was to uplift the rural economy of the farmers in the state, as it believes that Naga society as a whole would progress when the economy of those in the rural areas improve.
Konyak informed that under this programme the department plans to develop 300 Ha of coffee plantation within 100 days, and accordingly 5,75,000 coffee seedlings of Arabica variety and 60,000 of Robusta varierty will be distributed to the farmers for cultivation.
The department, he said will provide 200 rubber sheet rollers to the rubber growing farmers in Wokha, Dimapur, Mokokchung and Peren. While the department has developed more than 16,000 Ha of rubber cultivation in Nagaland and has been extending post-harvest support to the farmers, Konyak maintained that about 16 lakh trees are being tapped in the districts of Mokokchung, Wokha, Dimapur, Peren, Longleng and Mon.
For development of springshed, the minister said within 100 days the department plans to take up ‘inventorisation’ of 100 springs in two villages clusters namely Khrimitomi in Zunheboto district and Chizami in Phek district.
While springshed is a new initiative taken up by the department of Land Resources in collaboration with Peoples Science Institute, he said the objective of springshed development is to recharge the springs in the watershed areas so as to reduce water scarcity in the rural areas.
Secretary, Kikheto Sema was optimistic that these programmes will create employment opportunities for around 400 people, thereby uplifting rural economy and the living standard of the people.
Giving a brief background of coffee plantation in the state, Konyak pointed out that coffee is not a new crop as it was introduced in the state during early eighties by the Nagaland Plantation Crop Development Corporation (NPCDC).
However, due to lack of marketing facilities and linkages, the corporation closed down and the farmers were left without any option but to abandon their farms.
Later on, considering the agro-climatic condition, soil and altitude of Nagaland, he said the department of Land Resources has reintroduced coffee cultivation in some watershed projects which was found suitable.
While the state government has declared LRD to be the nodal department for coffee, it was a boon when the Coffee Board of India (CBI) came forward to work with the department for development of coffee in the state.
Accordingly, Konyak said the department procured 620 kg of seed coffee during 2015-16, 2400kg during 2017-18 and 3120 kg during 2017-18 from CBI and distributed to the farmers which are being cultivated. It is progressing quite well in many parts of the state, he said.
It may be mentioned that the department has channelized the coffee market with Nobel Cause Coffee Company in Cape Town, South Africa and during 2017-18, 7 metric tonnes of Nagaland Coffee was exported to the International market.
Earlier, the minister in a meeting with the department officials had urged them to carry out the policy and programmes of the government so as to uplift the economy and living standard farmers in the rural areas.