Sustainable Management of Land, Water and Crop in Hills of North East India

Krishna Bharadwaj *

AAU-Zonal Research Station Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Assam 782462, India.

Prakshipta Boruah

Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Karbi Anglong, Diphu, Assam 782462, India.

Manha Bathari

AAU-Zonal Research Station Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Assam 782462, India.

Mercydi Maibangsa

AAU-Zonal Research Station Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Assam 782462, India.

Hunmili Terangpi

Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Karbi Anglong, Diphu, Assam 782462, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Hill agriculture in Northeast India has tremendous potential to grow and contribute towards improving productivity, enhancing food and nutrition security, reducing rural poverty and accelerating the overall economic condition of the region due to its rich land, abundant water resources and favorable climate. The North-eastern region lying between 21.5oN - 29.5oN latitudes and 85.5oE - 97.3oE longitudes comprises eight states - Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. The growth potential of hill farming has remained under-exploited due to various reasons like lack of system-specific production technologies, poor infrastructure (transport, markets, processing) and underdeveloped institutions (credit, extension, information, insurance), inaccessible habitations, diverse socio-cultural and fragmented land holdings. In hilly areas, jhum cultivation provides a basis for subsistence farming, maintenance of cultural values and social stability at low population density. But in the present context, this system cannot sustain increased demographic pressure. Moreover, shifting cultivation also causes problems of land degradation, accelerated deforestation, out of control forest fires ultimately affecting climate change. Therefore, adoption of various agro techniques as an alternative to jhuming may prove to be a boon for the overall growth of the region. Cultivation of plantation crops and orchards established on hill slopes will prevent soil erosion. Watershed development also plays an important role in sustaining the natural resource base and improving the productive potential of hill states. The hill states have the potential for production of vegetables in off-season that has greater demand in neighboring plains when there is scarcity of supply as this region is bestowed with the most congenial climatic conditions for the production of under-exploited agricultural and horticultural crops that provides many fold employment opportunities in agro-based industries, packaging, storage, preservation, canning and transportation.

Keywords: Sustainable farming, climate change, cropping system, hill agriculture, NEH region


How to Cite

Bharadwaj, K., Boruah , P., Bathari , M., Maibangsa , M., & Terangpi, H. (2024). Sustainable Management of Land, Water and Crop in Hills of North East India. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 14(2), 847–855. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2024/v14i23998

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