Discover Nagaland’s traditional farming Techniques, such as Jhum cultivation, WRTC, WTC, alder tree-based, and zabo system, by learning their indigenous techniques to meet population demands. Discover which farming Techniques works best in Nagaland today.Best Farming Techniques in Nagaland: Jhum Cultivation, WRTC, WTC, Alder Tree-Based & Zabo System – Which is the Best Farming Method?
Nagaland is a mountainous state located in the northeastern region of India. With an array of flora and fauna, Nagaland makes for ideal farming land. Farmers still rely on traditional farming Techniques like Jhum cultivation, WRTC/WTC, alder tree-based Techniques, and zabo Techniques to cultivate crops – methods that have been practiced for generations and have successfully met population demands.
In this article, we will investigate Nagaland’s various farming techniques and determine which is most suitable for the state.
Jhum cultivation is an ancient farming technique popular among farmers in Nagaland. This slash-and-burn method involves clearing land by cutting down trees and burning any remaining vegetation, with the ash acting as fertilizer for the soil.
Once the land has been cleared, farmers sow various crops such as rice, maize, and millet. Jhum cultivation is an environmentally friendly farming technique in that the land remains fallow after crops have been harvested, allowing the soil to regenerate naturally.
Benefits of Jhum Cultivation
- A sustainable farming technique that promotes soil regeneration.
- Burnt vegetation acts as a fertilizer for the soil. After burning, land should be left fallow for some time to allow the soil to regenerate.
WRTC and WTC
Water Rights Terrace Cultivation (WRTC) and Wet Rice Terrace Cultivation (WTC) are traditional farming techniques farmers in Nagaland use to cultivate rice. These methods involve building terraced fields on mountain slopes for cultivation, rinsing them with water from nearby streams or rivers.
WRTC is a more laborious technique requiring building terraces on steeper slopes, while WTC works better on gentler hillsides. Both require considerable manual labor but have successfully grown rice in Nagaland’s mountainous terrain.
Here are the advantages of both methods:
- Effective for growing rice in the mountainous terrain of Nagaland
- Terraced fields reduce soil erosion while irrigating using water diverted from nearby streams and rivers.
Alder Tree Based Farming
Alder tree-based farming is an ancient farming technique used by farmers in Nagaland. This practice involves planting crops such as beans, peas, and corn under the shade of Alder trees which provide shade and fix nitrogen into the soil for fertilization.
This farming technique is sustainable, as crops are grown under the shade of trees, which helps conserve water and prevent soil erosion.
Benefits of Alder Tree-Based Farming
- Sustainable agriculture
- Alder trees provide shade and fix nitrogen into the soil for increased productivity.
- Crops are grown under the shade of trees, helping to conserve water and prevent soil erosion.
- The Zabo system is an ancient farming technique utilized by farmers in Nagaland for cultivating crops.
How the Zabo System Works
In the Zabo system, farmers clear land and cultivate crops for two to three years. After harvest, they leave it fallow to allow soil regeneration. During this time, farmers plant trees such as mango, jackfruit, and banana to provide shade while providing food sources for themselves.
After the fallow period, the land is cleared again, and the cycle repeats. This farming technique is sustainable as it encourages soil regeneration and prevents soil erosion.
Benefits of the Zabo System
- Sustainable farming technique with high returns.
- Trees planted during the fallow period offer shade and food for farmers.
- Additionally, it allows the soil to regenerate.
Indigenous Techniques and Methods
Indigenous techniques used during this time include:
Farmers in Nagaland employ traditional farming techniques and methods to meet the needs of their population. These practices include:
- Inter-cropping: This involves planting multiple crops on the same field. Since different crops have different nutrient needs, intercropping reduces competition for resources.
- Crop Rotation: This involves sequentially planting different crops in a field to prevent soil depletion and the build-up of pests and diseases.
- Use of organic fertilizers: Farmers in Nagaland use organic fertilizers such as cow dung, poultry manure, and compost to improve soil fertility.
Indigenous Techniques and Methods Have Benefits
- Effective in meeting population requirements
- Environmentally sustainable.
- Helps prevent soil erosion and maintain soil fertility
Which Farming Technique Is Ideal in Nagaland?
All of the farming methods mentioned have their advantages and drawbacks. Ultimately, what works best in Nagaland depends on crop type, terrain conditions, and weather patterns.
However, promoting sustainable farming techniques that protect the environment and safeguard people’s cultural heritage is essential. Jhum cultivation, WRTC/WTC, alder tree-based Techniques, and Zabo Techniques are traditional farming Techniques still prevalent in Nagaland, along with indigenous techniques used by farmers to meet their needs.
Important farming techniques practiced by farmers in Nagaland
|Dzüleke Terraces||Dzüleke Terraces are a unique farming technique that involves creating small terraces on hill slopes to cultivate crops. This farming technique is common in the Dzüleke area of Nagaland and is known for its efficiency in maximizing the use of land and water resources.|
|Bamboo Mulching||Bamboo mulching is a technique used to control soil erosion and retain moisture in the soil. Bamboo stalks are placed on the soil surface to prevent runoff and to allow water to slowly seep into the ground. This technique is commonly used by farmers in Nagaland to grow vegetables and fruits.|
|Tzüniing||Tzüniing is a traditional farming technique that involves growing crops on small, raised mounds of soil. The mounds are formed using a combination of soil and organic matter, and they help to retain moisture and nutrients in the soil. This technique is particularly useful in areas with heavy rainfall, where excess water can easily drain away from the crop roots.|
|Beekeeping||Beekeeping is an important farming technique that is gaining popularity in Nagaland. Farmers keep honeybees in specially constructed hives to produce honey, beeswax, and other bee products. Beekeeping not only provides an additional source of income for farmers but also helps to pollinate crops and improve overall crop yields.|
|Tangle Cultivation||Tangle cultivation is a technique used to grow crops such as beans, peas, and cucumbers vertically on a trellis or a mesh structure. This technique is particularly useful for small-scale farming and helps to maximize the use of available space.|
|Fish Farming||Fish farming is an increasingly popular farming technique in Nagaland. Farmers use small ponds to breed and raise fish such as tilapia, catfish, and carp. Fish farming not only provides an additional source of income but also helps to improve soil fertility by providing organic fertilizer through fish waste.|
These are just a few examples of the many unique and innovative farming techniques used by farmers in Nagaland. By adapting these techniques to their specific needs and local conditions, farmers in Nagaland are able to produce a wide variety of crops while preserving their traditional farming practices.
What is Jhum Cultivation?
A. Jhum cultivation is an ancient farming technique popular among farmers in Nagaland. It involves clearing land by cutting down trees and burning any remaining vegetation, with the ash acting as fertilizer for the soil. After this, farmers sow various crops like rice, maize, or millet into the cleared area.
What is the Zabo system?
A.The Zabo system is a traditional farming technique farmers in Nagaland use to grow crops. In this system, farmers clear land and cultivate it for two to three years before leaving it fallow for some time to allow soil regeneration. During this time, farmers plant trees like mango, jackfruit, or banana to support themselves during periods of uncertainty.
Which is the best farming method?
A. The best farming method depends on factors such as the type of crops, soil type, climate, resources, and economic conditions, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
For generations, farmers in Nagaland have relied on traditional farming Techniques such as Jhum cultivation, WRTC, and WTC alder tree-based Zabo system, along with indigenous techniques and methods. These practices are sustainable and have proven successful at meeting the needs of their population.