Coffee Board of India(CBI) and Land Resources Department (LRD) are aggressively working to energize the coffee cultivation in Nagaland.
Last week LRD and CBI officers have organised the programes to create awareness and technical knowledge to the farmers at Chutianala, Diphu in Assam.
Coffee Scientist, Bijaya Barman, RCRS, Diphu enlightened the farmers on aspects of growing coffee of two main species – Robusta and Arabica.She clarified various doubts, feasibilities and the technicalities involved. Joint Director (Extension) CBI, Guwahati, Dr. V. R. Gudde Gowda and Deputy Director, P.P. Choudhary, CBI also took questions from the visiting team.
Gowda spoke on feasibility of growing coffee in the state and encouraged officers to put in best efforts. He said the enthusiasm of the Secretary has been widely recognized by the CBI and assured all possible assistance to the State. He said once coffee has been properly nurtured to its producing stage, it can yield crop for 30-40 years and more than 100 years depending on the species and feasibility. Gowda further said CBI would visit the state once in two months if the farmers could meet the criteria of cultivating at least 1000 coffee plants per person in an area of one hectare.
Informing that there was no dearth of funds, he stated: “in fact we are surrendering funds since there are less coffee farmers.”
“We are ready to provide all technical, developmental and financial support to coffee growers but you have to be more enthusiastic”
LRD Secretary Kikheto Sema explained to CBI officials about difficulty in sustaining and maintaining the crop since at the nursery stage alone, the cost of nurturing a single coffee sapling comes to Rs 12 per year, which comes to Rs 720 crores approximately for nurturing 60 lakh saplings in a year.
Kikheto requested the CBI to assist farmers for the initial years by crediting the maintenance fund directly into the farmers account or through the department.He added that the current allocation of coffee seeds could provide employment to about 10, 000 people.
The Secretary informed that the department has set a target to cover 50, 000 hectares with coffee by 2030, and that the CBI has written an assurance letter to the LRD to establish a Technical Evaluation Centre on Coffee in Nagaland.
The LRD team was also shown digging pits, planting, centering, topping etc. They were also shown how varieties of mixed cropping could be done along with coffee.