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About Atma Kohima

Agricultural Extension plays a crucial role in the context of growing population and demands of agricultural production in a sustainable manner. The existing system of Agricultural Extension and Research, working in the state by agriculture and allied developmental departments is largely top-down and centralized in nature. In such faulty system of agricultural extension and research programmes, the farmers who are actors playing a crucial role in the process are considered as receivers of benefits only rather than empowering them as responsible persons who can effectively the production process. The process not only undermines the farmers but also overlooked the farming situation that differs from one village to another. Although agricultural extension and research works by public sector has achieved significantly in spite of having deficiencies at initial stages of agricultural development in the state, the time has come for reformation towards empowerment of farmers.

    The need for reforms in Agricultural Extension has been explicitly raised in the National Agricultural Policy. The report of expenditure reforms commission and in the Tenth Plan Approach paper keeping these recommendations in view- a broad policy framework for Agricultural Extension has been developed by the Ministry of Agricultural Extension, Government of India with five major guiding elements of the policy framework as: -

1.      Reforming Public Sector extension.

2.      Broadening Private sector to effectively complement, supplement and wherever possible to substitute public extension.

3.      Augmenting Media and IT support for extension.

4.      Mainstreaming gender concern in extension.

5.      Capacity building, skill up gradation of farmers and Extension functionaries.

    Under these guiding principles the Strategic Research and Extension Plan for Kohima District has been prepared. The objective of ATMA is to bring together framers, researchers, extensionists, private sectors, NGOís and other stake holders to develop District Action Plan on the basis of joint diagnostic studies and strategic plans in a demand driven, situation specific, multi action  oriented Strategic Research and Extension Plan(SREP) to accelerate the overall agricultural development in the district. The ATMA is also a platform through which agricultural extension services to the farmers will flow as one window. There is also a convergence of all Agri and line departments having extension activities either of the centrally sponsored schemes or of the state sponsored schemes in a compatible manner as per SREP.

    ATMA is therefore an autonomous body registered under the Society Act. The body consist of IDWG in the state level where Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) is the Chairman having a convergence of Bureaucrats of line departments. Governing Body of ATMA the highest body in the District where deputy Commissioner is the chairman and Project Director (PD)(ATMA) is the member secretary where convergence of Administrative line departments, financial institutions and civil bodies is taking place and other IG members. The ATMA Management Committee (AMC) body consist of 11(Eleven) members where PD(ATMA) is the chairman. At this level convergence of line departments at the District level is taking place.

    ATMA Kohima, having 4(four) BTT/FIACís and 4(four) FAC falling under 2 AES with a convener each in all the BTTís. Under each BTT there are members of FIGís/CIGís formed for operationalisation of farmers oriented activities in the village level.

    Kohima District is the oldest of the present 11(eleven) districts of Nagaland, having a total geographical area of 1595Sq.Km with a total farming population of 1,48,605 and a literacy rate of 74%. The district is having 85 villages scattered in an altitude range of 600 MSL to 3048 MSL.

    The system of land tenure tenancy is divided into three categories a) Village land owned by the village as a whole, b) Khel land owned by a Khel of a particular clan and c) family land which is hereditary from father to male offspring in the family.

    The main occupation of the people is Agriculture. The main prevailing practice of agriculture is terrace cultivation and jhum or shifting cultivation. Though ample potentiality of agriculture prevails, the district is striving hard to be self-sufficient in food grains. Farmers do not take up cultivation on large scale nor modern technology applied to go for bumper harvest in view of being a hilly terrain.

    The main crops grown are rice, maize, potato; ginger, squash, tree tomato, beans, chilly and horticulture crops like banana, passion fruit, guava, temperate fruits and papaya. The produces are organic by default.

    There is ample scope to go for organic farming for the production of organic fruits, vegetables and cereals by which farmerís income can increase, yet intervention in this area is still lacking. ATMA has therefore earmarked this potential area for intervention as per SREP.

    The preparation of SREP for ATMA Kohima District was facilitated by MANAGE (National Institute of  Agricultural Extension Management, Hyderabad) in the form of exposure trips, Master Trainers training, weeklong trainings for Officials and functionaries and supervision up to the level of SREP documentation. The contribution is therefore highly appreciated.