Nagaland is one of the exotic and lesser-travelled states in India. It is a north-eastern mountainous state which shares its borders with Myanmar. Nagaland is home to several indigenous tribes and also the notorious ‘Headhunters’, one of the main reasons people feel scared of visiting Nagaland. What they don’t know is that times have changed and so have the tribes. None of the tribes living here is violent, on the contrary, they are very welcoming of guests and visitors and more than often tourists get invited to their own homes for lunch! Nagaland is full of mist-covered mountains adorned with flowing streams and greenery. It is an amazing hill station and is perfect for a short escape from the hustle of daily urban life. The life of the local people here is extremely different from ours. Most of their culture and traditions originate from old tribal traditions that have been passed down by generations. They are extremely proud and protective of their tribal culture and are very enthusiastic to introduce tourists to their lifestyle.
We at NotOnMap with Better Life Foundation have built a "Farmer’s Innovation Centre" at Tuensang. This was built to provide training to farmers and to help them earn a better income and to protect their way of life. They are also taught about sustainable living and farming practices so they can have a positive impact on the natural environment as well. This project was totally crowdfunded. The architecture is entirely made up of bamboo, pinewood and locally sourced materials. There is also a gallery where indigenous arts are displayed. We have also provided for travelers who are interested in staying and impacting the local economy and culture. This project has been planned in a way which can incorporate and involve as many members from the community as possible. This Farmer Innovation Center is built on 3 principles-
1. Sustainable Agriculture
2. Financial Literacy
3. Grassroots Innovation
With these principles as the basic foundation, this centre has not only benefited farmers and the locals but also travelers as well because we have provided them with an opportunity to stay and live here like a local. This project aims to empower the local tribes to earn a better livelihood and also protect their culture, traditions and heritage.
NotOnMap and Better Life Foundation here work with whole communities. So far in Nagaland, we are working with 80 families, 300+ farmers and 700 beneficiaries. NotOnMart, an initiative of NotOnMap is also working with the farmers here and providing a platform for selling their local and indigenous produce without the help of middlemen.