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Rain brings respite to farmers in Nagaland; paddy transplantation picks up

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Jun 22, 2022 11:11 pm
A photo of terrace paddy fields at Tsücozu in Khulazu Basa village taken on June 17, 2022. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, June 22 (EMN):
After being left distraught for consecutive years due to drought-like situation, timely and moderate rainfall has come as a respite for farmers in Nagaland this year, enabling them to take up cultivation activities, including rice transplantation by June in some villages, which is about a month earlier than usual.

Good precipitation hugely determines the agricultural output in the state, be it in districts like Phek, Kohima and Tseminyu where terrace paddy cultivation (upland) is mainly practiced or other districts where jhum cultivation is chiefly practiced.

‘This year, more than 80% of farmers will be able to complete paddy transplanting by June, except for a few fields that are located in the low-lying warmer regions following timely rainfall,’ Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer, Chozuba, Thepusa Nakro told Eastern Mirror.

About 70% of the state population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood and most paddy fields are dependent on monsoon rains. Some of the most affected villages in the Chozuba sub-division (under Phek district) by last year’s dry spell were Thipuzu, Khulazu Bawe, Khulazu Basa, Runguzu Nagwu and Runguzu Nasa.

‘Most of these villages are able to carry out paddy transplantation on time with sufficient rainfall this year,’ said Nakro.

A farmer from Khulazu Basa village, Meshutsu, also told this newspaper that paddy transplanting in most of the rain-fed fields had been completed as the region received enough rainfall this year.

Sowing of seeds at one of his paddy fields located at Tsücozu (warmer area) is usually done in the first week of July, but last year, he was able to transplant only in the month of August due to insufficient rainfall. This year, he was able complete paddy transplantation this month, on June 18 to be precise.

In the colder areas, most farmers start showing in the month of May. Except for community paddy fields (in warmer regions), most farmers in Khulazu Basa village complete paddy transplanting by June end or July first week, Nakro informed.

Kohima District VBB Association President, Roko Angami said that most of the villages in the Northern Angami areas have completed paddy transplanting this year.

‘With regular rainfall, farmers are able to complete (transplanting) except a few fields that are timely-based, which means those that have to be tilled and sown in the month of June, while some in the month of July,’ he informed.

He added that last year, many villages could not cultivate paddy in their fields due to deficient rainfall. As agriculture is the only means of sustenance, some farmers went to the extent of fetching water using buckets to wet their fields but to no avail, it was informed.

But this year, farmers are engrossed in cultivation work, thanks to timely and sufficient rainfall.

The state is expected to receive more rain in the days to come as the Indian Meteorological Department had forecast earlier this week widespread rainfall was likely over the entire Northeast including Nagaland due to the influence of Southerly/Southwesterly winds from the Bay of Bengal. 

A file photo of terrace paddy fields at Tsücozu in Khulazu Basa village taken on July 26, 2021. (EM Images)
By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Jun 22, 2022 11:11:08 pm