Potato farmers in Southern Angami region bring home fruit of their labour

Kohima: Farmers share gratifying feelings as potato harvest is on full swing

BY | Saturday, 20 May, 2023
Organic potato fields in Southern Angami region in Kohima district

“This year’s harvest was good,” Seyie, an organic potato farmer from Kigwema Village, says with satisfaction. Seyie and her mother had planted six tin boxes (roughly 70 kilograms) in their terrace fields and harvested 25 tins which is over 300 kilograms.

The 15-litre tin container is popularly used by villagers as a unit of measurement. A tin contains 13 kgs of potato and is sold at a price of Rs. 600 per tin. A kilogram of the organic produce at about 60 rupees.

“… we sold potatoes worth Rs 15,000,” Seyie adds.

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Dolheno Neihu, another farmer from the same village, affirmed that this year’s potatoes were “very healthy”.

There is a gratifying feeling for ingenious potato farmers of the Southern Angami region in Kohima district as organic potato harvest is going on in full swing.

The ‘May potatoes’, planted in the month of January specifically in terrace fields are just right to harvest around this time as the weather is considered to be ideal.

The farmers expect to harvest their jhum produce between the month of June and July. Potatoes in the jhum fields are planted in the month of February.

Viwheto Thorie, a District Agriculture Officer feels optimistic about the prospects of the crop. One fascinating aspect is that the potatoes, although grown by almost every household in the village, gets over even before reaching market. Another advantage he cited was that it is suitable to cultivate the crop in both terrace and jhum fields.

Thorie also mentioned that the present harvests is noteworthy because it is a form of dual cropping as right after the potatoes are harvested, preparation for rice cultivation can begin without much hassle.

Deemed organic, potatoes in the areas are sometimes sprayed with ash to shood off pests as a traditional method and pig or cow dung are used as manure for the crop.

Nothing is left out of the crop as the leaves are used as pig feeds or consumed as leafy vegetable.

Known for its nutritional values, the fourth largest food crop after maize, wheat and rice globally, provides essential body building substances such as vitamins, minerals and proteins.

With the expanding cultivation, there is need for assessment such as estimated annual production, areas covered under potato cultivation and intervention for expanding the crop by the concerned department.

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