Monday, Aug 15, 2022

NGO Set To Transform Nagaland Into Fruit Hub Of India

An NGO has taken an initiative to transform Nagaland into a fruit hub in India by the end of the year.

A fruit vendor PTI Photo/Kunal Patil

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 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 ethnic communities of Nagaland and Manipur in particular and the North East 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 hoped. Doulo said fruit tree plantations by the community, government, and civil society organizations on a wide scale will make Nagaland the fruit hub of India. 

He said 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 steady market demand, scaling it up is viable and would substantially generate income for farmers. At the same time, it is supported through tEA's Buy-Back Policy to facilitate market linkages for farmers and provide income assurance and risk reduction As they wait for the fruit trees to bear fruit 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, labor, and minimum capital and trigger one trillion local economies without being dependent on the government,” he said, while also expressing optimism that planting one billion fruit trees will add value to reverse climate change. 

This will provide opportunities for families and youth 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 the NE region to metros. 

Doulo also informed that a large percentage of the saplings under this movement are raised by women, farmers, persons with disabilities, daily wagers, and laborers. 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 5 lakh fruit trees, he claimed.