Women in Nagaland Have Come Up With a Brilliant Plan to Combat the Adverse Effects of Climate Change
Nagaland’s topography is conducive to terrace farming and that’s the main occupation of the people of Chizami village in Phek district. Unfortunately, the terraces are going dry due to the unfavorable impacts of climate change. The unpredictable rainfall patterns have led to a drastic change in farming. Problems Encountered In Farming Erratic climate changes and pest attacks were some of the problems encountered in farming. Men are more keen to grow cash crops(crops grown for commercial purposes like coffee and cardamom) that enable them to sell their produce and earn money, but food crops are also very essential and women of the village work hard on the farms to grow millets and vegetables. As the rainfall became irregular and scarce, the women came up with a novel idea of a seed bank that will ensure sustainability even if whole crops fail. The Seed Bank With the help of North East Network (NEN), a non profit organization that promotes women’s rights, the women of Chizami have started a seed bank which contains 226 varieties of seeds with 35 types of paddy and seven types of foxtail millet stored in neatly arranged bamboo hollows and dried gourd shells. Farmers who borrow seeds from the seed bank will have to return double the quantity of seeds taken in the next year. A log book of all lendings and borrowings is maintained by members of the village women’s society. While men prefer to labor at construction sites rather than work in farms, women are controlling food crops and feeding their families. Moving away from a patriarchal society, women are now taking decisions on the field and have a say in their family and society, which is a welcome change.