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Nagaland hit by drought-like situation

DIMAPUR: Nagaland is facing a drought-like situation due to the delay in the arrival of monsoon in the State this year.

Agriculture and Cooperation Minister G Kaito Aye at a press conference at the Secretariat conference hall in Kohima today said due to the climate change and late arrival of the monsoon, the farmers have been greatly affected in the State. He said the climate this year is very peculiar compared to other years in the State.

Aye said various seasonal crops such as cardamom are drying up due to insufficient rain and maize due to infestation of Fall Armyworm. He warned that with the concern raised by the Agriculture department, Nagaland may soon face a drought situation if a similar situation persists.

He also stated that the drought-like situation being faced by Nagaland should be appraised to the Centre so that assistance can be given to the farmers affected by deficient rains.

Adviser to Horticulture and Border Affairs Mhathung Yanthan, who was also present, said the farmers are going through sowing season now and the germination period of crops is badly affected due to insufficient rainfall.

He stated that the State government is taking all necessary steps to ensure that the farmers are not affected by the change in climatic conditions in the State. He also emphasised the importance of change in the agriculture system to suit the changing times, environment and climate. He called for incorporating climate-resilient crops in the State agriculture system.

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Yanthan said various ongoing programmes like PMGSY, water harvesting structures, soil conservation measures are being taken up to mitigate the process of climate change.

Agriculture Production Commissioner Y Kikheto Sema said Nagaland is witnessing a drought-like situation due to delayed and erratic rains.

Stating that 70 percent of the State’s farmers are involved in jhum cultivation, Sema said with hardly any rains since December last year till April this year, the agriculture and horticulture crops under jhum have been adversely affected leading to poor germination and wilting of standing crops .
He added that the area affected by deficient rains amounts to 68,662 hactre of jhum fields in 915 villages in almost all the districts.

He said terraced rice cultivation (upland) and wet terraced rice cultivation has also been affected due to deficient monsoon rains in all the districts causing delay in land preparation and sowing. He added that if the same trend continues till July then the farmers may fail to undertake cultivation activities.

Sema said the Agri and allied departments are planning to distribute seeds such as potato, oilseeds and vegetables for the early rabi season from September to compensate the farmers for the anticipated loss.

He also said a core committee of Agri and allied departments headed by him has been formed to monitor and review the ground situation.

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