India’s mountainous region of northeast involving eight states occupying 8 percent of total land area of India and inhabited by 4 percent of the population, can start out second Green Revolution of India.
Sufficed with ample natural resources, suitable climatic conditions, expert manpower, India’s northeast is foreseen as an area sufficient in foodstuff very soon with the prospect of setting out the second Green Revolution of India. The region is free of pollution comprises of every possible component required for their adequacy in foodstuffs.
One of the major hindrances in the northeast is the tribal ‘jhum’ farming. The northeast comprises of about 27 percent of the tribes out of the population of 45.58 million inhabitants. The agricultural scientists in alliance with the government officials and political leaders are seeking to convince the tribal to implement the multi-cropping method as a substitute to the unmethodical jhum cultivation.
Basically jhum is a cut-and-burn shifting type of farming wherein the entire forest in the hills is cut down, thereby enabling drying of the slashed flora on the slopes preceding burning. Among the various crop rice is grown beside cotton, maize, mustard, vegetables.
The encroachment on the land, forests, biotic pressure, shifting cultivation resulted in a huge reduction in the cover of the northeastern region
The flagship farming scheme of Rs.2,873-crore launched in the 2010 in Mizoram– New Land Use Policy (NLUP) – targets to provide aid to more than 125,000 tribal families, mainly the Jhumias, to work out the food insufficiency by shifting from jhum cultivation to steady and sustainable recent innovative cultivation.
The government of Manipur and other northeastern states are aiming to initiate similar schemes like the NLUP program to shift the tribal people from jhum to standard agricultural practice with advanced technology.
Although universal climatic variation may affect the northeast, but with strong support from the government, powerful political motivation, farmers’ enthusiastic participation of the farmers along with introduction of up-to date technology, the India’s northeast may be considered as the region with superfluous food grains. Being the region with rich biodiversity, intensifying food productivity helps make the attempt a lot easier.
The rice cultivation of India’s northeast states viz. Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur encompass 7.8 % of the entire area with only 5.9 percent of its share in production of rice.
With prior emphasis on the application of steady irrigation technique, the scientist declares that unfortunately the total crop under irrigation in the northeastern part is only 20 % as against the countrywide average of 45 %. Losses in crop productivity are becoming a common phenomenon due to regular flood in Assam and other states of the northeast.
A manifesto, KIRAN (Knowledge Innovation Repository of Agriculture in the Northeast) has been launched by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) in July 2012 to tie together the novel scientific understanding and advanced technology to toughen the methods of agricultural production through affiliation and union amongst the various landowners. ICAR also anticipates a technologically advanced agricultural unit, supporting pioneering approaches intended to develop human resource through precise knowledge and expertise in the India’s northeast.
This article was first published in KenFolios - Only interesting stories.