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‘Low socio-economic status continues to mar control of jhum cultivation in NE’

 By A Staff Reporter

Source: Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Nov 15

Despite having abundance natural resources and known for rich biodiversity, North Easterner are not utilizing it properly said Dr. K. R. Dhiman, vice chancellor of Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, Himachal Pradesh in One Day National Workshop cum Brainstorming session on Jhum Improvement for Sustaining Farm Livelihood and Natural Resource Conservation: Vistas and Frontier held at Hotel Classic Grande.

Speaking as chief guest in inaugural function, vice chancellor of Central Agricultural University Prof. M. Premjit Singh said, “Discussion on Jhum cultivation started from the past 40 years. Many recommendations have been put forward by many experts; several schemes were launched by state and Central government for the prevention of Jhum cultivation in NE states. However the farmers have always failed to accept it.”

He pointed out the main reason for not being able to comply with the preventive measures is, “this system of cultivation binds with socio-economic status and traditional practice of the farmers. Rice, which is the staple food for the entire North East, is the main crop cultivated in jhum farming. Because of these reasons the farmers are not ready to give up this practice.”

He suggested that if the policy makers give them rice in subsidised rate they may follow the preventive measures.

The programme was organised by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya. The other dignitaries attended in the function are former assistant director general, ICAR, New Delhi and Member of International Commission on Water Quality Dr. U. C. Sharma, principal scientist, NRM Division, ICAR, New Delhi and former director, ICAR-Central Agroforestry Research Institute, Jhansi Dr. S. K. Dhyani, director ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Meghalaya Dr. Narendra Prakash, director Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI) (Zone IV), Guwahati Dr. A. K. Tripathi and director ATARI(Zone VII), Meghalaya Dr. B. C. Deka.

Joint directors from all the NEH regions ICAR gave presentation on the status report of Jhum Cultivation of their respective states and followed by discussion and brainstorming session.