The Nagas Professional Association comes to the aid of local farmers
BAN temporary shipping point for goods in Duncan Basti. (Photo by Morung)
Exclusive to Morung
Dimapur | April 16
Amid the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic when local farmers are among the most affected unable to market their produce, the Business Association of Nagas (BAN) has intervened between the gap by buying their produce and selling it. at wholesale prices to various small vendors, settlements, neighborhoods and villages.
Interacting with The Morung Express, BAN Chairman Vitho Zao said the main goal of launching the initiative was to help local farmers get a fair price for their produce because they get a bad deal on the wholesale market. “After the containment, it became even more difficult for the farmers to sell their products and that is why we decided to buy them and get them out of the woods,” he added.
Zao said the BAN tries to meet the needs of various settlements and villages, including local entrepreneurs who are ready to help people in their settlements. He said the tariffs for local products are in line with the prescribed tariffs set by the Dimapur City Council.
BAN also received permission from Deputy Commissioner Dimapur to source local produce from other districts, including Kohima, Wokha and Phek. âWhen we get local produce from these districts, we will also provide them with other essential dry ration items as and when demanded,â Zao added.
He said that since the farmers cannot come to Dimapur and sell their produce during such times, the BAN decided to reach out to other districts to help them as well.
BAN member Akum that they did not negotiate much with the farmers so as not to exploit them but to give them a fair price. He said the products are not sold to big businessmen but to small entrepreneurs to encourage the community market.
Another BAN member, Oka, said big businessmen tend to swindle the Naga people during these times and the association has stepped in to help local producers adopt fair business practices in the market. “We want to promote the local population and we call for the support of the public, churches and all other organizations in this effort to support the local population,” he said.
BAN General Secretary Dr Asangla Tzudir informed that if local farmers are unable to sell their produce from a district, they can contact the association via cell phone number 7005609377.
BAN members expressed disappointment with the district administration for not inspecting their activity once, except for the issuance of the permit. BAN thanked its senior members for helping them financially and providing them with relaxation areas.
A local woman who bought vegetables from BAN and resold them appreciated the role played by the Association during this difficult time. âI used to run a canteen, but due to the foreclosure my source of income ceased. Initially, BAN provided me with local produce on credit for the first two days and now with the profits I have started buying cash from them. âBAN is doing a very good job,â she praised.
BAN has set up its temporary shipping point for goods in Duncan Basti.