NEN organises farmers’ market
Dimapur, Feb. 13 (EMN): Women farmers from nine villages namely Ciechama, Phekerkriema, Ziezou, Jotsoma, Rusoma in Kohima district as well as from Lower Khomi, Chizami, Enhulumi, Sumi in Phek district came together to sell a range of diverse food items – cultivated and wild edibles, traditional snacks and tea, and hand-woven textiles during the farmers’ market organised by North East Network (NEN) simultaneously at Chizami and Kohima town on February 12.
Farmers’ market is an initiative of the NEN Nagaland, which started in August 2019 in an effort to promote local, clean, and healthy food, while supporting the livelihood of small and marginal farmers who practise bio-diverse farming, an update from NEN stated. It added that farmers’ market is being organised periodically in different locations of Phek and Kohima districts, where farmers bring diverse food produce from their homestead gardens, jhum, terrace fields and forests, and handicrafts to sell.
It, however, added that due to the Covid pandemic, NEN farmers’ market was discontinued for several months. NEN planned to continue facilitating the periodic farmer’s market in the coming months across different locations in Nagaland.
It stated that NEN has, over the years of their engagement with local communities in Nagaland, been advocating and promoting local, sustainable and climate resilient food and farming systems. It added that towards achieving self-reliance and well-being of the communities, NEN is actively involved in creating awareness amongst the producers and consumers on food and nutrition, facilitating market linkages for women farmers, re-orienting young people to local food through NEN farm schools, supporting conservation of traditional seeds through community seed banks, facilitating seed and knowledge exchanges through biodiversity festivals etc.
One important aspect was that the market promotes zero plastic packaging, indigenous food products, tapping into the ever-growing demand for organic produce among other things. The farmers’ markets are efforts to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers and to ensure the availability and accessibility of quality, seasonal, organic, healthy food and more.