Sunflower Field Brings Cheer, Economic Opportunity In Nagaland’s Lhokheto Village - Eastern Mirror
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Sunflower field brings cheer, economic opportunity in Nagaland’s Lhokheto village

6096
By Temshinaro Updated: Apr 16, 2024 12:58 am
Sunflower
Parmenas Jamir and his wife at their sunflower farm in Lhokheto village.

DIMAPUR — A sunflower field nestled in Lhokheto village, within Chümoukedima district, has emerged as an unexpected hotspot for visitors this spring, as the sunny yellow, oil-bearing flowers present a picturesque scene.

Covering approximately 4-5 acres, the field is visually captivating during the flowering season which begins in early February, turning into a major photographic point. No wonder photos of people in the lush field of yellow sunflowers have flooded social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook over the past couple of months.

As April unfolds, visitors are left disappointed as the sunflowers begin to wilt. But for Parmenas Jamir, the owner of the field, this change signals the end of a five-month wait to harvest the sunflower seeds.

The 51-year-old farmer and pastor, who planted the sunflower seeds in two phases, told Eastern Mirror that the first phase, sown during the last week of November, is ready for harvest, while those sown in the second phase in December will reach maturity in a few days.

The seeds were provided by the district Agriculture department which has continued to monitor and provide assistance in maintaining the farm, he said.

Sunflower

The ploughing and clearing of land was done using a tractor, while the nearby Dhansiri River serves as the main water source, especially during the winter when water scarcity is common, he shared.

The main focus is ‘organic produce’, he said, adding that he does not use any kind of fertilisers or medicines in his farm. The soon-to-be harvested sunflower seeds will be processed into organic sunflower oil.

On the farm becoming the talk of the town, both online and offline, he said he was glad to see so many people experience joy through his farm.

Sharing plans of expanding the sunflower farm for the next cycle of cultivation, he said, “I have no objection at all (for people visiting the field). The only thing to keep in mind is to refrain from littering the place with trash since it is a farm land.”

Apart from the sunflower cultivation, the farmer and pastor, also owns several farms including rubber, dairy and fishery operations, among others, and channels the proceeds from his farming activity towards his ministry.

A qualified rubber exporter and member of Rubber Board of India, Jamir has, over the years, provided shelter and educated orphaned children and helped them stand on their own feet.

With about 12 years of experience as a farmer, he said, “the most important thing is to take proper information and knowledge from the concerned department regarding the crops you want to grow, as technical assistance can be provided only through the concerned department”.

To prove oneself as a genuine farmer and to get assistance from the department, he said one has to make sure to stay devoted and committed to the particular crops for a fruitful result, no matter how small a farm maybe.

Stating that it is impossible for mankind to survive, he encouraged the upcoming generations to work hard within one’s capacity. “The source of nature will provide hope for the future,” he added.

Sunflower

Potential of sunflower farming

Meanwhile, during a short interaction with this newspaper, District Agriculture Officer (DAO) Chümoukedima, Bodevi Shüya, informed that the department had earlier conducted a field survey and found that the area had good potential for sunflower farming.

In 2023, the Agriculture department identified about 10 progressive farmers from across the district, including Jamir. The farmers were given training and provided with seeds.

Based on the department’s recent visits to the farms, the official said that most of the farms appear to be successful, although the official evaluation will be done only after the harvest, which is likely to be completed by the end of April.

He said that sunflower farming begins during the kharif and the rabi season too, and if the current trial batch is successful, the department plans to promote this variety of oilseeds across the state.

6096
By Temshinaro Updated: Apr 16, 2024 12:58:59 am
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