Cultivate commercial crops to meet market demand, says Nagaland Agriculture minister - Eastern Mirror
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Cultivate commercial crops to meet market demand, says Nagaland Agriculture minister

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Sep 02, 2022 11:57 pm
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Farmlands in state to be digitised by March 2023

G Kaito Aye with agriculture officers during the coordination meeting in Kohima on Friday. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Sep. 2 (EMN): Nagaland farmers should aim at increasing production and start cultivating commercial crops by adopting scientific farming methods in order to meet the market demand, said Minister of Agriculture and Cooperation, G Kaito Aye.

He was addressing the agriculture officers’ coordination meeting held at the Capital Convention Centre, Kohima, on Friday.

The introduction of technology and digital agriculture may not be easy because of the existing agriculture system but officers should adjust and get acquainted to the new system of cultivation, he said.

Digital agriculture, also known as smart farming or e-agriculture, is the use of new and advanced technologies, integrated into one system, to enable farmers and other stakeholders within the agriculture value chain to improve food production, according to the United Nations Project Breakthrough.

The minister informed that all farmlands in the state, including villages, will be digitalised by March in 2023 as per the directive of the Union Ministry of Agriculture. This meant all the farmers will be digitalized along with their land for any central and state schemes, he added while asking if the department is ready for the exercise.

He called upon the agriculture officers to take the lead in agri and allied activities across the state.

Maintaining that Nagas have the habit of waiting for work instead of exploring it, he urged the officers to choose the latter and shine in their profession. He also encouraged them to inspect the fields and assist the farmers by sharing their knowledge.

‘Being the responsible officers, you need to do more with zeal and dedication because the department is dealing with the most vulnerable section of the community, that is, farmers. Therefore, service delivery is being monitored even by the top officials of the government setup,’ he said.

Lamenting that signs of development on the ground are not proportionate to the fund received from the Centre or state government, the minister urged the officers to emphasise more on the tangible output because, at the end of the day, development on the ground will be the footprints of the department.

Agriculture is a season-based activity and there are schemes for the sector, he said. The performance of field officers is the mirror of the department, he added while urging them to have strong coordination for a better outcome.

On government schemes for farmers

On PM-KISAN scheme, which provides financial assistance to farmers, Aye updated that a total of 2,14,623 persons from the state had registered as on August 30, 2022, but the number of people who have provided e-KYC so far against the total registered beneficiaries is only 1,51,676.

He also informed that Nagaland farmers have availed INR 316, 31, 48,000 (approximately INR 316.31 crore) from PM-KISAN scheme as on August 30, 2022.

The minister further asked what measures have been taken by the districts to root out bogus beneficiaries as per the government directive.

On Kisan Credit Card (KCC), he said that as per the new CM Micro Finance Scheme, its interest will be paid by the state government and the banks, while stressing on the need to inform the needy farmers about the benefits they can avail from the scheme.

Weed out bogus beneficiaries

Agriculture Production Commissioner, Y Kikheto Sema requested the field officers to register eligible farmers and identify bogus beneficiaries of PM-KISAN.

Informing that more than 524 bogus beneficiaries of PM-KISAN scheme have been identified, he said officers who identify most number of such recipients will be rewarded.

He also called upon the scientists to come forward and study the agriculture system in the region in order to address the farming issues faced by the farmers.

Unless they (scientists) understand the region and provide inputs accordingly, their syllabus, degrees, and certificate cannot adequately address the cultivation (issues) of the region, he said even as he urged them to plan out such an initiative based on the direction given by the Centre.

Laying emphasis on the need to change the cultivation approach from traditional to modern, he said the agri and allied sector should turn into business enterprises and crops that are demanded in the market should be grown for economic sustenance.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Sep 02, 2022 11:57:17 pm