Nagaland is a small hilly state situated in the extreme Northeast end of India. Nagaland basically has an agricultural economy. Around 70% of its population is dependent on agriculture. It has a typical monsoon climate, and the year is divided into four seasons: winter, per-monsoon, monsoon, and retreating monsoon. Because of the favorable climatic conditions, the people are mostly engaged in agriculture. Besides, the ancestors of the Nagas were engaged in agricultural activities; the evidence being the festivals and rituals that were held for good harvest among others.
The Nagas follow two methods of cultivation, Jhum cultivation, and Terrace farming/cultivation. The main crops are rice, millet, pulses, and maize.
With the growing opportunities for employment in and outside of the state, many of the residents leave behind agriculture to look for other jobs. The introduction of other methods of employment and the thirst for entrepreneurship has made many leave for big towns and cities. Besides, with the aged old farmers’ children getting jobs and employment, having ample source of income have made, the old-timers leave agricultural activities, except for some few. Also with the increase in educated youths, the number of farmers also declined.
However, with the growing cases of the coronavirus or COVID-19 and it being declared a pandemic, many nations including India announced total lockdown. And Nagaland too, in accordance with the Central Government, announced total lockdown in the state by mid-May. Because of the growing threat of COVID-19, many of the Nagas residing outside the state were brought back. Some, even before the lockdown was announced, left for home. Many of the students, in and outside of the state, too returned home. Villagers who left to find manual jobs too returned to their villages. This is what led to the boosting of agriculture in Nagaland.
Many returned home right before the paddy plantation season, and many even before that. This prompted many of the people to engage in agricultural activities; some to revive the age-old practice of the ancestors and many to survive because they have no work and other sources of income. As many students, whose parents are farmers, have returned home, the farmers now have extra help. This led to the many unattended paddy fields ready for harvest. Now with the increase in the number of people engaged in agricultural activities and extra help, there were almost no fields left unattended.
This lockdown has left many without any source of income and led nations to economic recession. However, in the small state of Nagaland, where the people and the Government are fighting and struggling against the pandemic, there seems to be some improvement in the agriculture sector of the state.