NEN organised a 2-days event at Kohima, on 14-15th October 2022, where diverse stakeholders and farming communities from within and outside Nagaland were brought together to share knowledge and experiences related to seeds, millet-based ecological food and farming vis-a-vis women’s agency. To create public awareness on the importance of rural livelihoods and local food systems, and deliberate on a plan of action towards wider visibility, recognition and support for rural women and millets.
On the 14th October 2022 at Kohima, NEN with The Millet Network of India (MINI) and All India Millet Sisters’ (AIMS) Network organised a state level workshop on ‘Millets & Women – Successes, Challenges and Strategies’. Around 135 participants from the districts of Phek, Kohima, Tuensang, Mon, Shamator, Zunheboto, Peren in Nagaland, and representatives from Assam and Manipur attended the workshop. The event started with the inaugural of a photo and seed exhibition by ten communities from Nagaland.
Temsuinla, Joint Director, State Agricultural Research Station, Yisemyong, Mokokchung delivered the inaugural speech.She highlighted the significant role and contribution of women farmers in conservation of genetic diversity, and ensuring food and nutrition security for her family and communities. She encouraged the women to adopt farming practices that are sustainable and improve jhum practices, maintain seed purity while conserving the same.
Dr Pauline Alila, Professor, SASARD Medziphema delivered the keynote address in the workshop session ‘millets and women – successes, challenges, strategies’ where she highlighted the nutritional value of diverse millets and Government’s recognition of the crops as nutri-cereals. She stressed on the importance of proper documentation of seed diversity by collaborating with research institutions, the importance of education and awareness to encourage consumption, and the critical need to recognise, engage with and enable their access to farming resources.
The Panel discussions covered topics on ‘rural women enabling sustainable food systems – voices from the ground’ and ‘millets and seeds – programmes/ initiatives by Government and NGOs’ was moderated by Akho Phira, NEN and Nagato Aye, NEIDA respectively. The Panel speakers consisted of six women farmers from Phek and Tuensang districts, Agriculture department, IFAD FOCUS, and NGO representatives from RNBA Manipur, DAN, and NEN Assam and Nagaland
On 15th October 2022, which also marks the International Day of Rural Women, and the National Women Farmers’ Day, NEN showcased the contribution of rural women through exhibitions and sales; ‘Tapestry’, an Exhibition & Sale of Natural Fibers products organised in collaboration with Nenterprise- Chizami Weaves and A ‘Farmers’ Market’ at T-Khel Market, Kohima where 30 and more local farmers brought their surplus produce and crafts for sale, was organised simultaneously.