March 31, 2017
New Delhi, March 31, 2017: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan of 6,224 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 400 crore) for "Nagaland Forest Management Project." The ODA loan's conditions are very concessional, i.e. 0.3% interest rate for project activities and 0.01% for consulting services interest rate and 40 years of repayment period (including 10 years of grace period). The JICA-assisted Project aims to improve forest ecosystem and support income generation by rehabilitation of Jhum Cultivation (traditional slash and burn practice) area and provision of livelihood support, thereby contributing to sustainable forest and environmental conservation and livelihood improvement in the target villages in the state of Nagaland.
The agreement was signed between Mr. Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office and Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office said, "JICA recognizes the significance of livelihood improvement and poverty alleviation in forestry areas, and the Project shall contribute towards ecological rehabilitation of Jhum cultivation areas and poverty alleviation in the state of Nagaland. It is envisaged that by implementing the Project, better nutrient recycling within forestry soil and increased production of fuel wood, fruits and Non-Timer Forest Products (NTFP) would decrease people's dependency on Jhum Cultivation and improve their livelihood."
The Project comprises "Forestry Interventions and Biodiversity Conservation", "Livelihood Improvement and Community Development" and "Institutional Strengthening" and targets 185 Villages in 22 Forest Ranges in 11 Divisions, covering approximately 80,000 ha for forestry intervention.
In Nagaland state, between 2013 and 2015, forest cover decreased by 78 km2 and one of the reasons is Jhum Cultivation, a form of traditional shifting cultivation, in which approximately 60% of the population is engaged and approximately 60% of food demand is met from. During the Project, five models will be applied to the areas of Jhum cultivation to improve tree density and soil fertility, and to promote agroforestry to bring additional income sources to the people who are engaged in Jhum Cultivation and reduce the extent of dependency of the people on Jhum Cultivation.
The Executing Agency for the Project is Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of Nagaland.
Jhum Cultivation in Nagaland: A longer fallow period is needed to ensure fertility and nutrients and maintain land productivity.
Plantation activities will be implemented in a community participatory mode.
L-R – Mr. Dharmendra Prakash, IFS, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Development & Planning),Government of Nagaland, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office and Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary , Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) at the Loan Agreement Signing of Nagaland Forest Management Project
Established, by a specific law, as an independent administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.