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Young Minds Input for the Nagaland Agricultural Reforms Plan in Process

By EMN Updated: Oct 21, 2023 10:05 pm

“Good politicians make good policies and good policies brings prosperity.”

Reforms in agricultural sector is always the first and best stepping stone of uplifting the economy in most cases. Self-sufficiency in food products is the core essential part of economic growth of any society. Looking at the scenario of our Nagaland state where we solely depend on government pay checks for our sustenance hence it is indeed high time for our state to bring agricultural reforms or policies if we are thinking of building good economy for our state.

How do we do it?

The world had seen so many agricultural reforms and policies throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, so which ones work the best when it comes to agricultural reforms? What about China? How did they first start with agricultural reforms that shaped the growth of their economy. China is now the second largest economy in the world and as we all know they first made reforms in the agricultural sector and the rest followed. China is a communist country but studying and knowing their reforms and policies in agricultural sector will be beneficial for us as well and we can put some of their effective policies/reforms into practice which are applicable in our state.

We can also learn from Sikkim, the smallest state in North East India with rough terrains yet they framed an excellent policy and reforms in agricultural sector and they are now 100% organic state and their agricultural products are in heavy demand and exported in different countries as well, which is contributing a lot in the economic growth of the state, also the current per capita income of Sikkim is ranked number 2 in India. How did they do it? And what kind of reforms did they make in agricultural sector?

We are in a democratic country with a mix of capitalism and socialism yet most of our Naga society are still stuck in a socialist mentality, ‘meaning, we Nagas want all our needs to be provided by government.’ Keeping that in mind, what kind of approach/reform/policy will be best applicable for our people if we are to bring reforms in agricultural sector and this is going to shape the economic growth of our state.

As a young man who wants to have a prosperous Naga society in days to come, these are my inputs if we are to bring agricultural reforms in our state.

Identifying the type of soil through proper research: Nagaland has indeed many fertile lands throughout the state yet we don’t know what kind of soil type we have in most of our cultivable lands and what kind of crops are suitable in each area and we are cultivating mostly based on blind guess which is giving us less yields. So if we are to make reforms we should first hire experts and do a wide extensive research of the cultivable lands and identify what type of soil a particular cultivable land have and what type of crop is/are best suitable for the specific area/region. If there is no productivity despite our effort there is no point of bringing the reforms because agricultural crops will give good productivity only if we cultivate the right crops in those identified lands which are/is best suitable for any particular crop.

Ensuring quality of agricultural products: Harvesting high amount of agricultural products alone will not guarantee the success and growth in this sector, hence it is also necessary to ensure that our farmers produce good quality and organic products so that our products are good for consumption and demanded from market. There should be a body/branch in the department comprises of experts on order to ensure that our farmers are using high yielding and quality seeds and after harvest it should also ensure that only the quality products are made available in the market so that the demands for our agricultural products does not stop.

Financial and machineries assistance: Without this our agricultural reform will not yield the result we expect, for any extensive agricultural cultivation finance and machineries is a need of a farmer. If our government made a provision while making the policy for financial and machineries assistance definitely it will encourage the farmers to cultivate more. For example, my parents are farmers and they have been cultivating paddy field for years but now as they grow old, they don’t have the energy like before so they are cultivating only half of our field now. Why? Because they don’t have the tools and machineries to do the work and they cannot do it with physical effort alone. So if we really want our agriculture sector to grow, financial and machineries assistance to our farmers is a must and a need for our farmers.

Identifying genuine farmers: As everyone is well aware through media that even death persons are availing PM Kisan benefits in Nagaland so if government does not identify who are the real farmers the whole policy will be hijacked by those people who are ready to take advantage and who will be at loss? Of course our farmers and the money of our state government. But how do we identify it? 90% of our farmers are from villages/rural areas so the only solution is to go to each village, identify the land and the farmers without any malpractice in order to ensure that the benefits and assistance reach the right people who are putting hard work and effort for their livelihood.

While identifying the farmers the government must also ensure to take records of what crops each farmer cultivate in their area so that, with this data the govt will know what is going on in each area and will also have the right information on how to assist each farmers or the area in general.

Regulating prices and reaching the products to the market: Regulating and ensuring the price of each agricultural product and how to successfully supply to the markets is top priority and have to look into this like a baby especially during the initial stages since farmers will not have the knowledge to do all these. Hence they might end up being exploited by middle men. Tying up with private commercials trucks for the purpose of transportation by government will be great help for everyone since government might not be able to transport everything to the market through public transportation.

Once people start gaining knowledge on how the market works only then can we leave them for healthy competition.

Awareness and seminars: Most people in rural areas are not well informed about the policies made for them by the government and if we are to come up with a reform in agriculture the govt must ensure that the information is made known to the rural population through programs and seminars and this should be done with total dedication in letter and spirit, not just for the sake of doing it. The concerned department must make sure that our farmers are well educated about the type of soil in their area/region and the suitable crops for their land so that they cultivate the right crops to produce more agricultural products and generate good revenue. Also they should be taught how to cultivate each specific crop like the spacing, timing and other relevant techniques.

Cold storage facilities: Setting up cold storage facilities in strategic areas is necessary if we really want agricultural reforms, this will definitely boost the economic growth of the rural people but without this how long will the agricultural products last? They are all perishable products in days and weeks mostly and if our farmers products goes to waste they will lose their hard work for a year and this will discourage the farmers which in return will make the reform a failure.

There are so many things beyond the inputs I have written above like promotion of products to attract export buyers, proper branding and finding the right buyers who are looking for organic products and so on. If we really want to generate good revenue from this sector, I hope that while making policies in this agricultural reform the govt and the concern ministry will ensure to make a kind of policy that will bring positive impact and starts the economic transformation of Nagaland from being a dependent state to self sufficient state.

Leave a good history so that the upcoming generation will have good stories to tell about you all.

Ziren Yanthan

Dimapur, Nagaland

By EMN Updated: Oct 21, 2023 10:05:52 pm
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