Nagaland facing drought-like situation: official
Kohima: Nagaland is facing a drought-like situation with reports of water shortage coming in from across the state, a senior official said.
Agriculture Production Commissioner Kikheto Sema said seeds have not germinated due to the shortage of water amid the shortfall in rain, and the few seeds that have germinated have failed to survive.
Speaking at a meeting of Agri and Allied Departments on Wednesday, he said hailstorms and an attack on crops by fall armyworm have further aggravated the situation.
He urged the government to look into the issue immediately.
Sema said livestock farming has also been hit by the African Swine Flu and the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
He stated that 70 percent of the state's population live in rural areas and are engaged in agriculture.
He also appealed to the people of the state to maintain a kitchen garden in their backyards to harvest fast-growing cash crops for sustainability.
The official directed the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments to assess the damage to seeds and replace them on an urgent basis so that the farmers can replant this season.
He also suggested purchasing seeds from other allotted funds because of the urgency.
Besides, Sema called on the Veterinary Department to sensitize the people on alternative livestock farming such as goat and poultry.
Fisheries can be another alternative, he said and called on the Fishery Department to encourage people.
"We should focus on saving and conserving rainwater," he said.
He also called for creating awareness about rainwater harvesting among village councils, churches, NGOs, and other organizations.
Sema also stressed the need to plant more trees across the state.
He called on all departments of the state government to plant trees in spaces available within their complexes and urged schools, NGOs, and churches to plant as many fruit trees as possible.