Kohima, Aug 26 (PTI) In a bid to overcome challenges arising out of COVID-19 and the drought-like situation in Nagaland, the horticulture department on Thursday distributed winter vegetable seeds among farmers in 170 villages across the state, an official said.
The areas where the seeds were sent are known for their rich produce of vegetables.
Advisor for Horticulture and Border Affairs Mhathung Yanthan flagged off the vehicles carrying the seeds to the district headquarters.
The seeds are being distributed as part of the post-pandemic economic recovery activities under the North Eastern Council (NEC) and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
Speaking on the occasion, Yanthan said the pandemic has taught people the importance of becoming self-reliant through farming.
It should be taken up as an enterprise to attract more people.
The advisor lauded the horticulture department for the timely procurement of seeds for distribution among the farmers of the identified vegetable villages in all 12 districts.
The seeds are of high quality some of which have even been brought from abroad, he said.
He also suggested that proper technical guidance should be provided to the cultivators for getting a better yield.
The seeds include potato, cabbage, lettuce, beans, carrot, onion, beetroot, peas, and broccoli.
The advisor expressed hope that farming would also generate surplus produce to improve the economic condition of the people and the state.
The Nagaland State Agriculture Marketing Board should not only focus on the agriculture department but also include the products of line departments engaged with farmers, he said.
Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Y Kikheto Sema said that earlier seeds for the rabi season used to be distributed only in October, but this time efforts are being made to reach the farmers well in advance for timely cultivation.
He informed that the agriculture department through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) would be distributing winter seeds to 645 villages soon and efforts would be made to cover all the villages.
We would like to see that there is no dearth of vegetables in the state after the pandemic, he said.
Maintaining that the villagers should not only look to the government for seeds, the APC appealed to the farmers to preserve the best produce for germination of seeds.
Meanwhile, the APC said that Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has written to the Union government to take steps to mitigate the drought-like situation in the state and the response is awaited.