Kohima, July 4(MTNews): Under its ambitious aim ‘Trees for Wealth,’ an NGO has set a goal of transforming Nagaland into India’s fruit hub by planting and maintaining at least five lakh fruit trees by the end of this year. The Entrepreneurs Associates (tEA) founder and Chief Executive Officer, Neichute Doulo, stated during a press conference here on Monday that its ‘Trees for Wealth’ (TfW) movement, launched in November 2019, is the first of its kind to bring about a revolution in the local economy while also restoring and conserving the environment through the wide scale plantation of fruit trees with the slogan ‘Micro by One, Volume by Mass.’
One Billion Fruit Trees
He said that the slogan is based on the distinctive land holding system and social structure of ethnic communities in Nagaland and Manipur in particular and the North East Region in general. “Micro by One, Volume by Mass,” he hoped, where one million farmers and individuals planting 1,000 fruit plants each would result in one billion fruit trees. Doulo believes that widespread fruit tree planting by community, government, and civil society organizations would turn Nagaland into India’s fruit centre. He stated that villages interested in joining the campaign must have at least 50 progressive farmers with adequate land, while the tEA will supply free seedlings as well as hand-holding instruction to cultivate the fruit trees.
Buy Back Policy
Through the movement, a diverse range of fruit trees such as plum, orange, lime, guava, persimmon, avocado, mango, fig, tamarillo (Naga tree tomato), walnut, pears, litchee, and others are being introduced, including quick yielding fruit trees to motivate and encourage farmers to adopt fruit tree plantation as a viable long-term livelihood, he said. Various cash crops and spices have been pushed as part of this strategy, according to Doulo. Because cash crops currently have a consistent market demand, scaling up is feasible and would create significant revenue for farmers, while it is supported by the tEA’s Buy Back Policy, which facilitates market connections for farmers and provides income certainty and risk reduction, he stated. Farmers may make passive revenue by intercropping as they wait for the fruit trees to yield fruit, he says.
“The TfW is an innovation to work with what the people of the state have – land, labour, and minimum capital – and trigger one trillion local economy without relying on the government,” he said, adding that planting one billion fruit trees will contribute value to reversing climate change. This would create possibilities for families and youth to be meaningfully engaged and financially secure enough to stay in their original villages and generate income, reversing the trend of unabated urban migration as well as migration from the NE area to metros.
Doulo stated that a big majority of the saplings cultivated via this campaign are raised by women, farmers, and people with disabilities, daily wage earners, and labourers. He said that 4.6 lakh fruit trees had been planted since the movement’s inception, and that the tEA’s ambition for 2022 is to plant 5 lakh fruit trees.