5th Supervision Mission of IFAD funded FOCUS Project begins in Kohima to evaluate performance in last one year

Kohima: First issue of FOCUS half-yearly newsletter, booklet on FOCUS Innovation Fund Phase-1 released

BY | Monday, 21 August, 2023
(L-R) Rampaukai, Rajshekar Sambasivarao, Dr Jitendra Gupta, IAS, Agriculture Advisor Mhathung Yanthan, Mission Leader Piyush Kanal, VK Garg, Koji Arisawa & Alok Singh

The 5th Supervision Mission of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded FOCUS Project that kickstarted on Monday at the APC Conference Hall, Kohima. A team of 6 officials from IFAD led by Piyush Kanal, Mission Leader & Country Programme Analyst are in the state for the Supervision Mission from August 21-29, a press release from FOCUS Nagaland said.

Nagaland Advisor to Agriculture, Mhathung Yanthan, in his address, observed that despite the challenges faced during the initial years of implementation of the first Externally Aided Project- FOCUS (Fostering Climate Resilient Upland Farming Systems in the North East) in the state of Nagaland, it has made up for lost time in the last few years.

The Advisor further noted that as a project, FOCUS is of a bigger magnitude covering more than 50% of the geographical area of the state, which also posed as a challenge to take up. However, stating that with most of the challenges overcome, he appealed that with the continued efforts of the Project led by the State Project Director, Dr. Jitendra Gupta, IAS together with the Agri & Allied Departments, it would make up for the lost time, which was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the initial years.

Yanthan asserted that “the ultimate target for us is the farmer” while emphasizing that if we want to bring about change in the rural economy, “it cannot happen if we work in silo.” “We have to work together”, he remarked.

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In his keynote address, the State Project Director, Dr. Jitendra Gupta, IAS highlighted the objectives and overview of the project while also presenting the financial achievement, physical progress and the implementing status of the project, some glimpses of the journey of the project as well as the challenges and way forward and the future journey of the project.

Piyush Kanal, Mission Leader & Country Programme Analyst remarked that the FOCUS project has improved in the last one year while highlighting that the prime objective of the Project is to help farmers transform their practices and also improve their livelihoods. He also stated that the objective of the Supervision Mission is to evaluate the performance of the project during the last one year and further said that they look forward to going into the fields for further evaluation.

The other team members from IFAD who are attending the 5th Supervision Mission include Alok Singh, Agribusiness Development Specialist, Rajshekar Sambasivarao, NRM & Agriculture Specialist, Kajal Chakraborty, Financial Management Specialist, VK Garg, Procurement Specialist and Koji Arisawa, Junior Professional Officer, IFAD.

On the occasion, the first issue of the FOCUS half-yearly newsletter containing 24 pages and a booklet on FOCUS Innovation Fund Phase-1 were also released jointly by Agriculture Advisor Mhathung Yanthan, State Project Director, Dr. Jitendra Gupta, IAS and Piyush Kanal, Mission Leader & Country Programme Analyst, IFAD.

The FOCUS Newsletter highlights the activities of the Project undertaken during the last six months while the Booklet on Innovation Fund features the eight agencies/individuals that were selected out of 44 entries for the first phase of Innovation Fund. These include Jome Foods Pvt Ltd., Danyele Thong, Nagaland Spices, Tepzen Enterprise, Dr. Hutoka Y Jakha, Azhezukhikhi Agri & Allied Cooperative Society, Ching-Len Foundation and Imsus Integrated Agri and Allied Co-operative Society.

The Advisor also virtually inaugurated a Water Storage Tank constructed under FOCUS Project, 2023-2024 at Hekiye village under Zunheboto district.

Later, the vote of thanks was proposed by Deputy State Project Director, Rampaukai where he also acknowledged the presence of officials from all the Agri & Allied Departments in addition to the Advisor of Agriculture and the IFAD Team.

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