The first Naga Mircha festival was organised by Seiyhama Village Council and Seiyhama Naga Mircha Growers on Saturday. Out of 361 total households in the village, 200 households are Naga Mircha farmers at Seiyhama, which is 45 km away from Nagaland’s capital Kohima.
Also Known as U Morok in Manipur, Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper in Assam, one of the world’s hottest chilly varieties is a profitable crop in the Northeastern States. Each household is expected to earn a minimum income of Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 and the larger scale farmers are expected to get nearly Rs 4 to Rs 5 lakh annually.
The Chilly growers of Seiyhama village have shared the success story of their farming which acts as an engine of boosting the village economy. Last year, this village reported a total income of Rs 27 lakh through Naga Mircha cultivation and is expecting nearly Rs 1 crore this year.
Educated youths, mostly graduate and post graduate students have also taken up Chilly farming in Nagaland, and are doing a brisk business, said the festival’s organizing committee convenor Lhoulalie Zumu.
In one way, he said, such steps translate into a lot of self-employment opportunities as the job avenue in the government sector has reached a saturation point in the state. Zumu thanked the state government, particularly, horticulture and agriculture departments for assisting the Naga Mircha farmers and enabling the villagers to land a significant milestone thus far.
Seiyhama Village Council has awarded the certificate of appreciation to Duolhoulie Zumi for contributing the highest product of Naga Mircha at the festival; Zasituo Thevo for the highest production of Naga Mircha; Atu Thevo for cultivating the largest area of Naga Mircha; and Mengubeio Metha for harvesting the largest Naga Mircha.
Gracing the occasion as the special guest, Vibeilietuo Kets, president Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), 11th Northern Angami-II Assembly Constituency conveyed greetings from Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to Seiyhama villagers for their active engagement with Naga Mircha cultivation.
Kets called upon the Naga Mircha farmers to focus on value-added products and also sell the produces at an affordable price as far as possible to sustain the business.
Stating that Seiyhama is quite suitable for Naga Mircha cultivation, he called for the expansion of their activity to triple production.”Go deeper for marketing beyond the state”, he said and maintained that they have the potential to become resourceful fellow towards the promotion of this chilly in the state.
Meanwhile, he encouraged the villagers to come forward and apply the scheme of Chief Minister’s Micro Finance Initiative, which was launched by the Government of Nagaland to encourage credit for carrying out economic activities.
Under this scheme, subsidy and interest subvention against identified activities in the agri & allied sector including processing units, MSME etc., will be provided to eligible beneficiaries like farmers, entrepreneurs, unemployed youth, SHGs, farmers’ producers’ organization, companies, and cooperative societies.
Also speaking on the occasion, S Senka Jamir, District Horticulture Officer, Kohima lauded the growers of Seiyhama village for making a good headway on the map of Naga Mircha farming in Nagaland.
He encouraged them to vigorously pursue their innovative way of cultivation, assuring that the department will extend training and technical support to take the production to a larger scale. Viewing the feasibility, he said, the department is targeting about 100 hectares for the purpose.
Feature Image credit – Shankar Khangembam