The Naturally Nagaland Brand is a comparatively new initiative of the Government of Nagaland that was kick started a year ago under the objective ‘Monetising Organic Agri and Allied Products of Nagaland through Value Chain Development’. The initiative, though just a year old, seems to be slowly making an impact in the lives of many, especially the farming and rural community which in turn is contributing to the growth of the State’s economy. To understand the importance of the initiative and why the brand Naturally Nagaland has the greatest prospect for our State’s economic growth, one simply needs to take into consideration the current post pandemic market demand and supply scenario.
During the COVID 19 pandemic, the demand for organic food went up as consumers perceived them as being healthier and good for immunity. However, otherwise too, demand for organic food is increasing at a continuous pace. According to an Expert Market Research report, the Indian organic food market stood at a value of USD 849.5 million in 2020. For the forecast period of 2021 – 2026, the trend in the organic food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 20.5% to reach about USD 2601 million by 2026. Thus, looking at these statistics one can safely say that the Naturally Nagaland brand can only grow and our local indigenously produced organic products will definitely be in demand not just in the country but also across the globe.
An overview of the activities and programmes of the various departments under agri and allied sector of the state in the last couple of years clearly reflects the importance and effort put in by the State Government in developing the agriculture and farming industry as more than 60 per cent of the State’s population is engaged in this sector and the State’s economy is primarily dependent on agriculture. The Department of Land Resource has been promoting Nagaland Coffee and helping farmers from across the state not just in production but also in marketing . Today coffee from Nagaland has been rated as one of the best in the country and is in great demand internationally as well.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary has also contributed a lot and been working tirelessly to promote the poultry and dairy industry in the State. The Horticulture Department has been working hand in hand with the farmers by imparting technical knowledge and also providing logistics in terms of high yielding seeds and saplings as well as financial assistance.
The Department of Soil and Water conservation has also been making efforts in creating awareness regarding soil conservation and soil quality maintenance through scientific research and application, and in recent years have successfully managed to educate most farmers on the importance of sustenance farming. The department has set up 13 soil testing labs in 11 Districts and 74 mini soil testing labs in all 74 blocks and has also acquired three mobile soil testing labs. The other allied departments like the Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, Department of Co-operation, Department of Sericulture, Nagaland Bio Resource Mission, Nagaland Bee keeping and Honey Mission, Nagaland Rural Livelihood Mission and NEPED (Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development) have all been working tirelessly and implementing projects including centrally sponsored schemes with the sole aim of uplifting the agriculture and farming community and creating economic self-reliance among the people of the state.
However, despite all the efforts put in by the government, the end result and the success of the project depends solely on the work culture of the people of the state. The state government can only do so much and the people need to realise that they also need to put in a lot of hard work and dedication to make the dream of making Naturally Nagaland an internationally renowned brand a reality and of becoming economically self-reliant through the brand.
Nagaland, known for its rich biodiversity, is gradually making its entry into the organic farming market and efforts are being made to promote organic farming in the state. Nagaland has potential for promotion of organic farming as farmers have been practicing traditional system of agricultural without the use of external inputs since its inception. Naga farmers adopt an age-old traditional cultivation system called shifting cultivation. The present agricultural practice of Nagaland is organic by default as the state and the region were not impacted by the wave of green revolution across India. Therefore, the brand Naturally Nagaland, if nurtured properly, can positively impact the lives of many in the State and can become one of the biggest contributors to the state economy in the coming years.
Earlier in commemoration of 75 years of Indian independence, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio inaugurated the ‘Naturally Nagaland’ exhibition stalls at Secretariat Plaza on 15 August 2022.