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Permaculture – the way forward for farming in Nagaland


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Large portions of terrace cultivation under Kiphire district. (Morung Photo)

 

Morung Express News

Dimapur | November 20


Nagaland is losing its forest cover at an alarming rate of 200 square km per year due to the practice of shifting cultivation. To arrest the fast losing forest cover and help sustain the forests, a project by the Government of Nagaland, financed by Japanese International Cooperation Association (JICA) has been launched.


The JICA project will cover 185 villages across 11 district spread over 22 ranges. The objective of the project is aim at conserving land under shifting cultivation by three pronged approach- forest interventions and biodiversity conservation through community participation, livelihood improvement and community development and institutional strengthening. 


The Nagaland state Land Resources Department (LRD) is currently conducting six-day Permaculture Design Course training at Resource Centre, Land Resources Department (LRD), Ruzaphema starting from November 18.

 
During the inaugural programme, Commissioner & Secretary, LRD, Senti Ao, IAS stated that “Permaculture is one stop solution” to the consequences of shifting cultivation which is the normal practice of farming in Nagaland. 


Striking a balance between ecology and traditional farming, Permaculture farming can be an effective alternative way to replenished the already  barren land or else if the present trend of farming goes on without been checked, it is certain that most of the forest cover in no time will become a naked barren land. As the demand for land for shifting cultivation will rapidly increase with the explosion of population stated Acato Chishi, the Permaculture designer of LRD.


He felt, the practice of Permaculture aim to balance abundance for the future by producing all the food and materials locally without disturbing the nature. It is simply the collaboration of humans and nature in action where ethics is involved in farming.


Tuponel Yore, one of the resource persons for the training also felt that the unsustainable agriculture practices that we currently employ, Permaculture is also an evidence-based solution to demand of food for growing population. 


The statistics of consumption rate are frightening. The projected outcomes of overconsumption and the abuse of our earth are dire, especially as we are already consuming 50% more resources than the planet can sustain. 


Inatoli chishi, Course director of the Permaculture stated, Permaculture can be designed in small or large scale settings. They can very easily solve some of the mess that humanity has created for itself, such as the shortage of healthy and clean food and water. It may also speed up the culture revolution of humanity, but on a large and widespread scale it damages the natural world, and has created the decline in the nutrients of the food it produces and we are now consuming less nutrient food than our grandparents. 


Director of Land Resources, Renben Lotha has stated the department already has 22 certified trained Permaculture who are trained from Aryan farm at Hyderabad and Himalayan Farm project at Nainital which in turn can train other staffs in the district.


 Renben also felt this as one of the little change for the pressure that is put on land due to urbanisation and population growth.  


As per Traditional agriculture practices and sustainable livelihood a thematic report of the UNDP out of total geographical area of the state of 16,57,900 ha, the gross area under agriculture was 3,68,130 annually.

 

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