The Union government on July 28, 2020, launched the Green-Ag Project in Mizoram, to reduce emissions from agriculture and ensure sustainable agricultural practices. Mizoram is one of the five states where the project will be implemented. Other states include Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
The project is designed to achieve multiple global environmental benefits in at least 1.8 million hectares (ha) of land in five landscapes, with mixed land use systems. It aims to bring at least 104,070 ha of farms under sustainable land and water management. The project will also ensure 49 million Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) sequestered or reduced through sustainable land use and agricultural practices.
The Green-Ag Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, while the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is the national executing agency. Other key players involved in its implementation are Food and Agricultre Organization (FAO) and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
The pilot project is supposed to end on March 31, 2026, in all states, including Mizoram, where the project covers 145,670 ha of land in two districts — Lunglei and Mamit. It aims to cover 35 villages and includes two protected areas — the Dampa Tiger Reserve and the Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary.
“This project becomes unique for its site selection. The landscape has revenue villages and community land in close conjunction with national parks and protected areas,” Alka Bhargava, additional secretary of DAC&FW and a member of National Project Steering Committee (NPSC) of Green-Ag Project, said.
She added that sustainable agriculture was the main component of the project and given the unique advantage of Mizoram in terms of agro-climatic conditions, water availability and a hard-working population, the state could produce niche products like passion fruits and provide them to the entire country, besides exploring export markets too.
FAO – India Representative, Tomio Shichiri, emphasised that the Green-Ag project would help local people take advantage of the rich agro-biodiversity present in their landscape for sustainability of agriculture and livestock production practices, promotion of secondary agriculture, establishment of green value chains and thereby enhancing their incomes.