By Imna Longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), Sep 7: Minister for Planning & Parliamentary Affairs, Nagaland, Neiba Kronu, represented , in a video conference held on Tuesday with the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar.
The topics for discussion during the meeting included Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), Digital Agriculture, National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP).
According to an official bulletin, Kronu, speaking on behalf of Nagaland, highlighted issues and suggestions on various agendas including: Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF): While thanking the Union Government for introducing such important Scheme of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), the progress of the Agriculture Infrastructural Fund (AIF) in the State has not been on expected lines as the lending institutions have been shying away from financing the farmers and entrepreneurs due to issues of collateral securities.
Therefore, he requested to the Union Government to help the State in creating more agriculture infrastructure in the State through Grant-in-Aids.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN): He stated that as on August 31, 2021, a total of 2,00,082 farmers from Nagaland has been benefitted amounting to Rs. 265.52 crore transferred to their accounts.
Kissan Credit Card (KCC): with this regard, Kronu said that as on June 30, an amount of Rs, 223.54 crore have been extended to 35,959 KCC beneficiaries by the banks covering all districts.
Digital Agriculture: The State is yet to implement collection of digital database of land records because of the State’s peculiar land–holding system.
However, the Department of Agriculture and Soil & Water Conservation Department, alongwith GIS Cell of the State is working out to implement the same.
National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP): The department is implementing the scheme under NFSM (OS& OP) since 2014-15.
So far, Kronu said it has covered an area of about 4623 ha along the foothill areas of Mokokchung, Wokha, Mon, Dimapur, Peren and Longleng.
The department has targeted area coverage of 1100 ha during 2021-2022.
He also informed that the state government is targeting only 15,000 Ha of wastelands for oil palm cultivation and this decision was taken on the basis of actual availability of the cultivable areas.
Further, the Shivasa’s Company has agreed to procure Fresh Fruits Bunches (FFBs) from the farmers by the September 3rd week . He also disclosed and they have also been asked to set up Oil extraction Mill by August 2022.
Export of agriculture products: Despite the pandemic, the Agri and allied departments organized several meetings, workshop and on March 15, a major consultative and buyer seller meet in partnership with APEDA was organized at Dimapur which was attended by the experts from within and outside the State.
Kruno also said that under the umbrella of Nagaland State Agriculture Marketing Board (NSAMB), market channels are opening up for export of local products to the metro cities under the brand name of “Naturally Nagaland”.
He said for the first time Naga King Chilli was exported to London on July 29 this year and other niche products including Bamboo-shoot, Pineapple, Kiwi, Cardamom, Ginger, Sweet & Juicy Cucumber; Tree Tomatoes etc are in the pipeline for export.
However, he mentioned the challenges of huge cost of transportation both inside and outside the state.
He further stated that the Naga Coffee, which is one of the best , is the first agriculture product that has been exported for the last few years to the international market.
So far, he said, about 10,000 ha of coffee have been planted and the state is targeting that by 2030 about 30,000 ha would be covered throughout the length and breadth of the State.
Besides rubber is one of the commercial crops exported to other states.
The planning minister was accompanied by Advisor, Horticulture, Mhathung Yanthan and Agriculture Production Commissioner, Y. Kikheto Sema, in the video conference meeting which was attended by 13 States – Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura; represented by Chief Ministers, Agriculture Ministers, and other officials.