In order to challenge the changing climate, Nagaland government is now turning to its traditional food crops which can resist the rising temperature and water stressed conditions.
The state government has initiated a project called “gene pool conservation of indigenous rice varieties under traditional integrated rotational farming system for promoting livelihood and food security as climate change adaptation strategy.” The Rs. 24 crore project will be supported by the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change. This will be implemented in one village in each selected block in five districts - Tuensang, Wokha, Zunheboto, Mokokchung and Kohima – over the next three years.
Under the projects, field genebanks will be developed for conservation and research of promising varieties, and seed exchange programme will be initiated with the involvement of communities engaged in both jhum and terrace cultivation. Selected promising seeds varieties will then be disseminated to farmers across the state.
pic: Jhum method of cultivation
The State Agriculture Research Station (SARS) has identified 867 traditional ‘land races’ of rice at Mokokchung. These rice varieties are broadly categorised as glutinous, brown and aromatic and most of them are grown under the jhum or shifting cultivation system practised by different Naga tribes in the state.
In Nagaland, rice is the most important crop and 86 percent of the cultivable land is under jhum and terrace rice cultivation systems. However, people are shifting to cash crops putting cereal cultivation under stress. Farming of cereals and pulses promoted under several schemes has not been effective and sustainable.
(Source: India Science Wire)