Farmers selling indigenous vegetables at Organic Market in Kiphire. (Morung Photo)
P. Achumse Yingbithongrü
Kiphire | August 11
Agriculture has been the backbone of rural economy and a source of income generation for rural farmers as nearly 60% of the population depends on agriculture. However it hasn’t contributed as expected to the state’s economy due to lack of proper district wise market for local farmers, though the demand for local indigenous product remains high.
The landlocked district of Kiphire, which depends on Dimapur for supply of perishable goods such as vegetables, has been seeing a reverse reportedly since the formation of Amahator Area Farmers Club (AAFC). AAFC was formed way back in 2014 as an alternative to help farmers market their harvest which is purely indigenous and organic.
Govt departments to the rescue
A number of government departments have also been playing their role in improving the economy of the farmers.
Departments leading the way in providing financial assistance and technical know-how to farmers include Land Resources, Agri, Horticulture and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK).
Recalling how the farmers club was formed, AAFC president Thsithrise said, “In today’s society not many wants to be associated as farmers. In order to break this wrong notion that farming is a low work he and his fellow farmers decided to form a club so that farmers will take pride in what they do, at the same time bring individual farmers together and market their together.”
“Besides, with the help and support from the different departments, we are able to cultivate different crops on time and sell out harvest, which otherwise would have gone to waste,” he added.
Since the formation of the AAFC, members have been trained in various fields such as piggery rearing, poultry, cardamom plantation, fishery and animal husbandry from ICAR, Shillong and Sikkim.
The trained members in turn have shared their knowledge to hundreds of fellow farmers in village level in coordination with the departments.
Apart from sharing their farming knowledge to fellow farmers, AFFC has also been organizing exhibition and sales day every month in Kiphire with the support and assistance from the department.
AAFC secretary Isekyu Sangtam stated that farmers are benefiting a lot from the exhibition and sales day as there is a massive demand for local indigenous and organic vegetables. As per the audit, the AAFC secretary said that a single sales day can generate an income upto Rs.1 lakh.
Boost to income of farmers
Since the formation of farmers club and construction of market purely for selling organic products, the market has become a hot spot for consumers looking for organic harvest, as the demand remain high.
Litsakyu, an AAFC member claims there is no shortage of vegetables supply in the district as the farmers are producing enough. Toward this, he acknowledged the help and support from various Agri & Allied departments.
It may be mentioned that with the objective to encourage and push local farmers for a self sustaining economy, organic market was specifically constructed by the District Administration Kiphire.
Cardamom dryer, banana chips making machine would be added bonus
Meanwhile, appealing the departments, AAFC secretary Isekyu said cardamom farmers were facing difficulties as the farmers are unable to process their harvest as there is no cardamom dryer machine. He also said it would be more fruitful if banana chips making machine were made available for the farmers of Kiphire.
Any hope of a revival of the economy will squarely rest on the outcome of the agricultural sector. The only way to revive employment growth is a revival in the agrarian economy. It is also the only way to revive overall economic growth.