Striving For Self Sufficiency - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

Striving for Self Sufficiency

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 16, 2023 12:24 am

Chicken stalls in Dimapur have been wearing a deserted look since the city-based poultry union imposed an indefinite ban on its import from Assam. If the allegation made by the Poultry Union Dimapur about the existence of a syndicate system in the neighbouring state is true, the concerned authorities should step in and do away with unfair trade practices that can affect both traders and consumers. Monopoly should be checked, be it poultry or any business for that matter, as it can manipulate pricing and supply, kill healthy competition and affect small-time business. However, business community in the state end up harming themselves while trying to fight such unfair trade practices aside. Restricting import of chicken into Dimapur only leads to acute shortage of the meat in the city and other parts of the state. A similar situation was witnessed in May this year when the Pork Butchers’ Union in Dimapur imposed a ban on import of live pigs from Assam after the neighbouring state government prohibited the passage of pigs through the state from other parts of the country, citing rise in bird flu and African swine fever (ASF) cases in other states. Keeping the rationale of certain unfair trading practices aside, the extent of disruption caused by moves in another state is a matter of grave concern. Ideally, supply disruption should only result in shortage of certain items and rise in price, but in the commercial hub of Nagaland, traders have to pull down the shutters all together, indicating the extent of dependency on other states even for favourite food items. Sadly, pork and chicken are not the only food items that are imported; unlike in rural areas, people in urban settlements are almost completely dependent on outside sources for most fruits, vegetables, fish, rice and other items.

While interdependence between nations and states is normal, over reliance is not healthy. The fact that there is not a single product from Nagaland that will have a significant impact on other states if its supply is stopped, goes on to tell that it is more of a consumer state and the trading is mostly one-way; at the most a transit hub. Ironically, Nagaland exports the little organic food items it produces to other states and even beyond the shores, but the people of the state, especially those living in urban areas, consume conventional food imported from other states. This disquieting reality calls for the urgent need to strive towards self sufficiency, starting from agricultural products. It’s not unachievable being an agrarian economy. The citizens need to increase production considerably, be it vegetables, livestock or other food items. Until then, outside market forces will continue to decide the prices, quality and quantity of food on our dining tables.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 16, 2023 12:24:15 am
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