‘Solution to global challenges lies in biodiversity’
Dimapur, Sep. 20 (EMN): Honorary member of North East Network (NEN) Seno Tsuhah stated that the solution to the current global challenges such as climate crisis, poverty and hunger lies in biodiversity.
She stated this during the Biodiversity Festival held at Shatuza village under Weziho Block of Phek district on Monday.
The Biodiversity Festival programme, which was celebrated on the theme, “Embracing Biodiversity for a Resilient Future” was hosted by Shatuza village and supported by North East Network (NEN), Millet Network of India, and Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd (REC), an update informed.
Tsuhah highlighted that today’s global crisis was caused by human interaction with nature, biodiversity loss, extractive development model, greed and corruption. She called on the participants to uphold one’s responsibility as stewards and custodians of God’s good creation, by protecting the common resources ie lands, forests, water, biodiversity, and indigenous knowledge systems.
Encouraging the community to sustain millet-based biodiverse ecological farming, she shared that the UN General Assembly had adopted a resolution to celebrate 2023 as the International year of Millets. She underlined the critical role that women play in nurturing and sustaining ecological farming, and emphasised the need to include them in all levels of decision-making process. She further informed the participants about the government’s recent approval of the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) scheme with a special focus on the NE and Andaman.
“Millets are an indicator of wealth. We have a large variety of millets and many big granaries for storing millets. Millets are pest-resistant and can be stored for up to 60 years. Millets can be consumed in multiple ways – as drinks, as snacks, as ghalho, etc. Our ancestors cultivated millets every year until our generation where its cultivation started declining. Though it was only recently that we became aware of the nutritional value of millets and started cultivating with interest,” stated L Shishi, community knowledge holder from Shatuza village.
It stated that the highlights of the programme included seed exchange between six villages, three Chakhesang villages and three Pochury villages; a display of seed diversity by eight villages under Weziho block ie Phor, New Phor, Wuzu, Yisi, Yisisotha, Shatuza, Kuzatu, Hutsu; of uncultivated food diversity by Kuzatu village, and a farmers’ market where food and craft items were sold by the participating villages.
VCC Shatuza L Sipiru thanked NEN for supporting the community in organising the festival, and guiding his community on seed conservation.
A traditional folk tune on seed sowing was presented by women farmers from Yisi village, and Shatuza students union performed a folk dance. The event was attended by community leaders, church elders, representatives from Pochury Mothers’ Association, students union, and women farmers from eight villages under Weziho block, and three villages under Chizami block in Phek district.