Kohima: To help small and marginal farmers to overcome the challenges in the agriculture, the Nagaland government recently launched the Fostering Climate Resilient Upland Farming Systems (FOCUS) project amounting to a total cost of Rs 612.42 crore.\r\n\r\nAs the farming remains the single largest source of employment in Nagaland, the project would be implemented in 650 villages in eight districts including Mon, Longleng, Wokha, Mokokchung, and Kohima for an initial period of six years upto 2023. It is funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).\r\n\r\nThe key purpose of the project is to target the small farmers who earn from rain-fed agriculture and practice "JHUM"- a shifting cultivation system popular in the state. The government is encouraging the small and marginal farmers to adopt modern farming techniques which will help to increase their productivity.\r\n\r\n"I assure that my government will give you all the cooperation and support. The timely release of funds should not be a problem. The interest of the farmers is the top priority," said Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.\r\n\r\nFOCUS project will not only be meant to protect the environment but also double the farmers' income and hence is perceived as a major boost to the agriculture economy of the state.