NEPED is a people centric project that works with shifting cultivation ( jhum or swidden ) farmers of Nagaland, India. Jhum has been considered environment unfriendly and destructive. Over the years NEPED has proved this to be a fallacy with its innovative and people friendly approach that has made policy makers, agronomists and foresters sit up and take notice. From this the project has moved to consolidation of its achievement with its ground-breaking and pioneering work in agro forestry, fallow management and participatory action research methodology by introducing cash crops and value addition through energy based applications provided by off grid stand alone pico and micro hydel applications.
- The general goal of the project is to contribute to Environmental Protection and Economic Development of Nagaland. More specifically, the project aims to contributes to the following long term results:
- Environmental protection
- Economic development leading to poverty reduction
- Improve social cohesion
- Sustainable VDB mechanism for community development and empowerment
- Improved development programming of Government of Nagaland.
- Develop alternative approaches for shifting cultivation
- Increase the income of the people of Nagaland
- Enhance the capabilities of the local Institutions to manage natural resources
The purpose of NEPED is to provide the mechanism for sustainable community based land and natural resources management for poverty reduction and improved livelihood options in Nagaland as stated above in the Vision and the Mission statements.
NEPED, a Government of Nagaland ( GoN ) programme implemented in two phases, is funded by India Canada Environment Facility (ICEF).
NEPED,a Government of Nagaland ( GoN ) programme implemented in two phases, is funded by India Canada Environment Facility ( ICEF ). The first phase was called Nagaland Environment Protection and Economic Development through People’s Action(NEPED I)
was involved in establishing 1794 Test Plots in 854 villages for demonstrating the advantages of planting trees in jhum fields, started in February 1995 and ended in March 2001.
Nagaland is unique not only in its biodiversity, but it is also distinct in its system of property ownership wherein 93 % of all its Natural resources are either individual or community owned. Therefore over the years Nagaland’s conservation efforts have also been unique in that sense. Having recognized the pressing need for biodiversity conservation in the state, it’s been the Communities that have taken up Conservation efforts.
This has mostly been done using self imposed restrictions and though the efforts have been exemplary and have resulted in significant improvement, the need now is to strengthen these efforts using technical support and linkages. Therefore with this view, NEPED alongwith SACON(Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History), Coimbatore, as their project partner and with financial support by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT), Mumbai, initiated a programme called Strengthening community conservation efforts in Nagaland (SCEN)
( NEPED II )
The second phase, called Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development ( NEPED II ) , commenced operations from April 2001and wound up on 31st March 2006. In the first phase, the programme undertook a project for planting trees along with jhum ( swidden or slash and burn ) cultivation practiced by the tribes of Nagaland, which looked into the Environmental aspects.
Whereas, the second phase looked towards activities related to additional farming system over and above the subsistence jhum farming that is market oriented, and therefore the changed identity of Empowerment, but with the same acronym called NEPED II, that centred on creating a microcredit mechanism in the villages, through which a paradigm shift from subsidy oriented mindset of the people towards self-reliance was created. A third phase is currently underway concentrated on consolidating the achievements of the first two phases through watershed development.
Over the last twelve years, NEPED has acquired considerable credibility across Nagaland and beyond and is in the process of institutionalization. The emerging need for the agro-enterprises that has risen from NEPED efforts is to meet energy requirements necessitated to enable Naga farmers to compete in a global market.
Hence, a dedicated team of multi-disciplinary experts has been formed by the Government of Nagaland, with full autonomy, to address the challenges brought about by these developmental achievements.
The team has been operational since 2006 and is currently implementing pico units using hydroger technology across all districts of Nagaland. Retaining the same acronym ( NEPED ), the team is called Nagaland Empowerment of People through Energy Development ( NEPeD ).
NEPeD has already carried out assessments using participatory methodologies that have clearly established the need for up scaling power generation to augment energy requirements which is cheap, green and clean. NEPED society is a registered society formed in the year 2005.
Its jurisdiction covers the entire state of Nagaland and will function with its HQs at Kohima and Dimapur. The purpose of the society is environment protection and economic development of the people of Nagaland. It shall facilitate and manage issues linked with sustainable development for employment generation and utilize human capital of the state by way of coordinating with all developmental efforts in the state.
In pursuance of the above, the objective of the Society is to carry out studies and identify major issues which need to be addressed from time to time and to generate and adapt technologies that promote sustainable use of natural resources and improve livelihood options.
The Project Steering Committee is headed by a Chairman, and comprise of 10 members.
Chief Secretary, Nagaland – Chairman
Team Leader, NEPED – Member, Secretary
Representative from appropriate Ministry, GOI, New Delhi – Member
Principal Secretary, Forest, Nagaland – Member
Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Nagaland – Member
Secretary, Soil & Water Conservation, Nagaland – Member
Secretary, Wastelands Development, Nagaland – Member
Director, Agriculture, Nagaland – Member
An NGO representative – Member
A women representative – Member
The present NEPED Team has 10 POU members, one Team Leader and One Deputy Team Leader. The POU members are each in-charge of a District and implement projects in their respective Districts.
To achieve this vision, NEPED-III will operate as a partner, philosopher and guide to the communities with which it works and will act as a facilitator to bring groups together. Through exchange experiences with other projects and learning from communities, the NEPED team will continuously strengthen its capacities to provide the best possible advice.
Through the provision of training, capacity building, technical assistance and other resources to both women and men, NEPED will promote conservation of the watershed, sedentarization of agriculture and afforestation. NEPED will work with villagers to document traditional knowledge and to foster sharing of that knowledge. NEPED will present its findings to government departments.
NEPED will bring together farmers’ organizations and villagers to promote high quality products and strengthen market access for Naga crops both within and outside Nagaland. NEPED will create a clearinghouse on agricultural information for Nagaland, including jhum, bio-diversity and bio-piracy.
About NEPeD Energy
NEPED, a Government of Nagaland (GON) program implemented in two phases, is funded by India Canada Facility (ICEF). The first phase, called Nagaland Environment Protection and Economic Development through People’s Action (NEPED I), started in February 1995 and ended in March 2001. The second phase, called Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development (NEPED II), commenced operations from April 2001 and wound up on 31st March 2006. The first phase of the project undertook tree plantation along with jhum (swidden or slash and burn) cultivation practiced by the tribes of Nagaland. The second phase centered on creating a micro-credit mechanism in the villages, through which a paradigm shift from subsidy oriented mindset of the people towards self reliance was created.
The Need for Energy:
NEPED has shown considerable openness to adoption of various technologies for deployment in Nagaland. NEPED is now deploying energy platforms in the form of cost effective, low maintenance and eco friendly pico hydel generating units as localized energy solutions. The project is based on the needs that emerged from the second phase of NEPED II.
Retaining the well established acronym, the Nagaland Empowerment of People through Energy Development (NEPeD), came into being in December 2006. This multi disciplinary team comprising of 7 members were given the mandate to implement development oriented projects under Pico/ Micro hydropower of sub-megawatt level in order to provide value added services to farmers that had been impacted by the previous 2 phases of NEPED.
NEPeD in addition has also been mandated by the Government of Nagaland (GON) to implement hydel projects up to 50 kW capacity.
Nagaland has the unique distinction where people are empowered and have sustainable livelihoods by being part of a vibrant economy, driven by locally generated eco-friendly power that is being used for accelerated development. This enables Nagaland to leapfrog into the globalize world as a leader in sustainable development worthy of emulation. There is peace and harmony everywhere.
In order to achieve the vision, NEPeD shall work with the stakeholders to evolve a bottom-up approach to empower them to become partners in development and create awareness about green-energy utilization and its benefits for enhancing quality of life.
Accumulated resources shall be judiciously used to create need-based infrastructure with a people centric approach to development. Working in a transparent manner, NEPeD becomes a replicable development model that inspires and mobilizes people and governments to succeed.
About NEPED Environment
Naga communities are economically vibrant and independent. They are self-reliant and no longer subsidy oriented. Farmers make use of new knowledge about farming practices to improve the quality of production. With the assistance of farmers’ and marketing organizations, market yards are established and farmers are accessing markets outside Nagaland. Women play an active role in community development programmes and have an equitable share of resources.
Villages act to manage their own affairs and resources judiciously. They are maintaining traditional knowledge and transfer to future generations. Villages share their improved practices with other villages, become models for development in Nagaland. Government consults with communities on policies and practices that affect them. Farmers’ organizations work with the farmers to protect the environment and prevent bio-piracy.
The Government departments, Nagaland University and Research Institutions are working actively on bio-diversity issues. NEPED serves as a strong resource group for strengthening community self-reliance and environmental sustainability.
- Nagaland Handloom & Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited (nagalandjournal.wordpress.com)
- Nagaland Khadi & Village Industries Board (nagalandjournal.wordpress.com)