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ABAM to educate farmers, the Korean way


Dr Kim Bum-il, President Canaan Farmers School, South Korea (3rd from R) and ABAM Executive Secretary Rev O Alem (5th from left) after the foundation stone of CFS, Nagaland was laid by Dr Kim at ABAM Farm on January 31, 2011. (Morung Photo)
 
Tuli, February 2 (MExN): What can we learn from the Korean people besides the weird hairstyles, ultra-tight jeans and canvass shoes, perhaps, their way of sustainable farming methods through education at farmer’s schools? The Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM or Ao Baptist Church Conference) has taken the noble step of establishing a farmer’s school called ‘Canaan Farmers School’ at the ABAM Farm here some nearly seventy kilometers away from Mokokchung district headquarters.
This Canaan Farmers School is being established with the help of the Canaan Farmers School, South Korea which was established in the year 1935 having branches in different countries of the world like Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, China and Jordan.
However, the Canaan Farmers School at Tuli is still at its first step, and the foundation stone was laid by “President” of Canaan Farmers School, South Korea, Dr Kim Bum-il on January 31, 2011 only. He was the chief guest at the CFS “inaugural programme” at the ABAM Farm.
A handout disclosed that Dr Kim Bum-il is the principal of the second Canaan Farmer’s School that teaches the pioneering spirit of Canaan that plows barren land into useful ground with the trainings values of work service and sacrifice.
Since the founding of Canaan Farmers School by his own father during the cruellest colonial rule under Japan, Kim Bum-il witnessed every turn of the Canaan Farmers School’s history as it underwent liberation, war and revolution, as it served as the incubator for the ‘Saemaeul Undong’ (New Village Movement) and it continues to embrace the world today. The thoughts, ideas and techniques of the Canaan Farmers School will now be imported to Nagaland.
Dr. Kim Bum-il while speaking at the inaugural programme expressed some tenets of the Canaan Farmers School, South Korea – hard work. “If you love your neighbor, and if you don’t work, then that is not the true expression of love,” said Dr Kim Bum-il who spoke to the audience through a Korean interpreter. Saying that we must work to serve others, Dr Kim said that the Canaan Farmers School is not an event but a movement of mobilising farmers to work hard and produce more so that the whole society can be sufficed. He also maintained that Nagaland has a ‘great future’. He said that the person alone cannot do it alone, but together the agricultural sector can be revamped. However, he said that the people of Nagaland should love their land and pray to God – ‘Lord I am here to work’. He expressed his hope that there will be a great transformation in Nagaland within the next few years.  
Dr. Lima of Canaan Farmers School, Nagaland while talking with the media, said that this project has been initiated after some members from ABAM attended a crash course at CFS in South Korea a few years back. He disclosed that there will be short term and long term crash certificate courses. There will be three technical teachers from South Korea who will be teaching the Naga farmers. Dr Lima disclosed that here is no bar in terms of sex or age – it is for ‘everybody’. However, for now the Canaan Farmers School needs a hostel and an auditorium at the ABAM Farm for carrying out the course. The tentative date for starting the course or the syllabus could not be disclosed. Nonetheless, Dr. Lima said that the main objective of the Canaan Farmers School is to make the farmers educated so that there would be a “paradigm shift” in the mindset of the Naga farmers. He expressed hope that the CFS, Nagaland would help in the emancipation of farmers and make them sustainable in the society.