NGO to transform Nagaland into fruit hub of India

KOHIMA, 4 Jul: An NGO under its ambitious mission, ‘Trees for Wealth’, has set a target to transform Nagaland into a fruit hub of India by planting and nurturing at least five lakh fruit trees by the end of this year.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, The Entrepreneurs Associates (tEA) founder and chief executive officer, Neichute Doulo, claimed that its ‘Trees for Wealth’ (TfW) movement, launched in November 2019, is a first of its kind to bring about a revolution in the local economy alongside restoring and conserving the environment through the wide-scale plantation of fruit trees with the slogan ‘Micro by One, Volume by Mass’.
The slogan, he said, is built on the unique land holding system and social structure of the ethnic communities of Nagaland and Manipur in particular, and Northeast region in general.
“Micro by One, Volume by mass,” where one million farmers and individuals on an average planting 1,000 fruit trees would indeed lead to one billion fruit trees,” he said.
Doulo said that fruit tree plantations by community, government and civil society organisations on a wide scale would make Nagaland the fruit hub of India.
He said that villages willing to join the movement need to have at least 50 progressive farmers with proper land while tEA will provide the saplings for free, besides hand-holding training to nurture the fruit trees.
Through the movement, a mixed variety of fruit trees like plum, orange, lime, guava, persimmon, avocado, mango, fig, tamarillo (Naga tree tomato), walnut, pears, litchee, etc, are being introduced, including quick yielding fruit trees, so that the farmers can harvest early and start earning income to motivate and encourage them to adopt fruit tree plantation as a viable long-term livelihood, he said.
“Under this initiative, various cash crops and spices have been promoted,” Doulo said.
“Since cash crops already have a steady market demand, scaling it up is viable and would substantially generate income for farmers while it is supported through tEA’s buyback policy to facilitate market linkages for farmers and provide income assurance and risk reduction,” he said.
As they wait for the fruit trees to bear fruits, the farmers can earn passive income through intercropping, he said.
“The TfW is an innovation to work with what the people of the state have land, labour and minimum capital and trigger one trillion local economies without being dependent on the government,” he said, and expressed optimism that planting one billion fruit trees would “add value to reverse climate change.”
This will provide opportunities for families and youths to be meaningfully engaged and financially secure to stay back and earn income in their native villages, thereby reversing the trend of unmitigated urban migration and also migration from NE region to metros.
Doulo informed that a large percentage of the saplings under this movement are being raised by women, farmers, persons with disabilities, daily wagers and labourers.
A total of 4.6 lakh fruit trees have been planted since the launch of the movement and tEA’s target for 2022 is to plant five lakh fruit trees, he said. (PTI)