Carbon positive villages stressed


Laishram Shamungou
IMPHAL, Nov 29: Experts are claiming that to effectively negate the impact of rapid climate change in the long run, the State needs to establish numerous carbon positive (neutral) villages.
Phayeng village is located in Imphal West district which has been developed as a model carbon positive eco village by the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change since 2016.
In a bid to reduce the impact to the environment, chemical fertilisers and pesticides are not used in the village. Instead, the villagers use compost fertilisers and naturally made bio-pesticides. They also ensure that the fields are not left empty after farming by planting various produces all year round. These have helped in reducing the carbon emission and retaining Nitrogen (Nitrogen fixation).
Speaking to The Sangai Express, a villager of Phayeng Chingkunou, Angom Ramesh said that he uses his own naturally made compost and liquid manure on his fields where he grows rice and other vegetables all year round, adding that his production has never decreased.
Stating that his organic products are in high demand, Ramesh said that people also ask him if they can buy his manure/compost as well but as he produces only the amount which he requires, he has difficulty in selling his natural fertilisers.
Ramesh further explained that by making his own compost and bio-pesticides, he has been able to save the money which he would have used to purchase chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
He continued that his farm currently generates ample profit by producing cabbages, chillies, U-Morok, beans and a variety of spring onions.
Another villager, Angom Joy said that  he also uses compost on his farm, which like the earlier case has not faced any dip in production.
Instead, he claimed that his fields have become even more nutrient rich than before.
Speaking to this reporter, Dr Arti Ningombam, a scientist at ICAR Lamphel, stressed on the need for making the people of every Constituency and districts aware of the importance of model carbon positive eco villages in light of the rapid changing climatic conditions.
Stating that such villages will provide long term benefits, the scientist added that such initiative will also greatly benefit the farmers as well.
On the other hand, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, Dr T Brajakumar said pointed out that the project of establishing model carbon positive eco village was taken up with the aim of conserving the land, water and forests in light of the changing climate, as well as to reduce carbon emission and enable the people to adapt to the changing conditions.
He informed that a total of 22 vermi-compost units were constructed at Phayeng village and around 500 farmers were given necessary training on making their own compost and liquid manure.
Locals from other villages were also allowed to witness the developments undergoing in Phayeng, he added.
As a part of the process, the villagers are taught to plant other crops in the same filed after their first crop is harvested so that the field does not remain empty. This helps in reducing carbon emission and retaining nitrogen in the soil, he explained.
-Written under the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change State Level Climate Change Media Fellowship