The 11th Nagaland Canaan Farmers School training was successfully held from 8 to 10 March 2023 at Life Ministry Learning Centre (LMLC), Naga United Village. This was jointly organized by the Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM), Impur and C-Edge College in collaboration with Life Ministry Learning Centre.
The Trainers were Dr Sashiyangba, DPO, Land Resources Department, Mokokchung and Rev I Wati Jamir, Pastor DABA. Resource persons from ABAM were Rev Dr Mar Pongener, Executive Secretary, Mr Panger Ozukum, PS to Executive Secretary, Mr Imsentiba, Sunday School Promoter, Mr Limasangwa, Coordinator Social Concern and Mr Meralong Langu, member NCFS Committee. Participants were students and staff from C-Edge College, staff of LMLC, Farm Manager of ABAM Resource Centre and two representatives from Naga United Ao Baptist Church.
Rev O Alem, former Executive Secretary ABAM, who spoke on the history and relevance of Canaan Farmers School, is credited with first bringing this program to Nagaland from South Korea. It is a proven economic model powered by the vision to move the people from war torn ruins and poverty to prosperity. The training seeks to inculcate the Canaan Spirit of pioneering spirit and hard work for community transformation.
The ideology of CFS is “Work, Service, Sacrifice” and the motto is “Learn to Master, Work Diligently, Humbly Serve.” Based on this, the people are called to be pioneers with the clear dream of always achieving a better life. It was community transformation and united hard work that could propel South Korea from one of the poorest countries to one of the richest in the world within fifty years.
The Nagaland Canaan Farmers School under the ABAM believes that the Nagas today need such a spirit to enable us to eradicate poverty and attain economic prosperity. The CFS focuses on the call to action with “the Bible in one hand and a hoe in one hand.” The trainers expounded on the Biblical foundations of the movement where it was explained that the meaning of Canaan encompasses four aspects – “Land of hope and promise; Place of milk and honey; Land of recovery and blessing; Place where the Lord supervises.”
Sessions on Pioneering History and Spirit; Basic Economy, Community Development; Small Scale Entrepreneurship; Living Constitution of the People of Canaan; and Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement) were delivered by the trainers, so also devotion sessions by members of ABAM.
In this training, trainees were introduced to stringent discipline and understanding of the Canaan Spirit. It was a rigorous four days program which included morning exercise and jogging followed by devotion and breakfast, theory classes and practical field work. A special feature was a field trip to Ronem Farm, the extension site of the College for vocational activities.
From Dr Sashi’s sessions on Composting and IMO the pioneers became earthworm’s best friends and understood the importance of different species in the environment. The training concluded with a talk on “Life towards Canaan” along with presentations on pocket friendly business plans by the different groups. Altogether 31 certificates were presented in the graduation program.
From students’ perspective:
According to the trainees, it was a one of a kind program; the training was a new thing for them because it involved a very humble way of living and about earning daily bread. They added that they never had this conscious feeling before about having food, because they never understood the efforts given by the earner of the family or the farmers. The students felt responsible and energetic and some of them are planning not to keep the ideas limited to the four walls of their training program but to explore the real world. Some students also said that they always underestimated their potential but the training helped them to understand their true self. The students were motivated and said that they would try to exercise on a regular basis and work on themselves.
From the Executive Secretary ABAM:
This is the 11th Training Program held in Nagaland with the main objective to spread awareness regarding the different methods of farming and how farming can help in economic development. This program is not only for the students or unemployed youths, but for anyone who wants to earn a living out of farming. He opined that one of the main reasons why our state is seeing so much poverty is because of the laidback attitude of the citizens. There is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit among the youth, lack of risk-takers. The Nagas like to play the blame game and avoid taking responsibility. He said that even if it takes years, the institution will keep on spreading the Canaan message until the revolution begins from within. His only concern was that the motivation is often confined to the four walls; it does not go out beyond that. He said he is looking forward to the day when the people will understand the importance of the land and the miracles it has to provide to the people.
C-Edge College, Life Ministry Learning Centre and all participants are greatly indebted to the Nagaland Canaan Farmers School wing of ABAM. The Canaan Spirit learnt in the training will enable us to be pioneers, dreamers and achievers. We pray that this movement spreads all over Nagaland and that the blessings and promises of our Lord will overflow in our beautiful land.