- Jhum cultivation: pros and cons
- Agri. Ministry: Rabi crop reforms
- Neera Sap
- New hybrids: Tea and Banana
of course we all know what is Jhuming but topic in news, because someone wrote an article in Thehindu to glamorize jhuming technique.
What is Jhum cultivation?
- Farmers slash and burn a patch of land, start growing food crops.
- When soil fertility declines they shift to another place, burning the jungle again.
- For various names for Jhum, refer to NCERT Geography class 10, chapter 4.
- Uses forest’s natural cycle of regeneration.
- Organic farming, doesn’t use pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Trees burned to provide potash to the soil
- Cooperation: after jhuming, the land distributed among farmers.
- Jhum causes only temporary loss of jungle. Because once monsoon over, the farmers abandon the land. Jungle regenerates quickly.
- The Jhum cycle normally runs for around 6-10 years. i.e. when farmers return to the same patch of land and burn forest again.
- During those 6-10 years, same jungle provide forest produce to the tribals.
- Contrary to that, monoculture plantation causes permanent loss of forest, due to chemical inputs.
- so once, you cut down a forest to raise monoculture plantation, you cannot reconvert the same land into natural forest again.
- Jhuming done in steep hill slopes where sedentary cultivation not possible. So it’s a reflex to physiographical characters of the North east.
- overall, Jhum economically productive + ecologically sustainable
- If you leave the jungle for ten years, it’ll regenerate. But nowadays farmers come back in jut ~5 years. Not enough time for the forest to regenerate.
- North eastern forest are major carbon sinks, home to biodiversity. Must be protected.
- Jhum farming families always suffer food, fuel and fodder problems, leading to poverty and malnutrition.
- tons of biomass gets loss due to burning of tress.
- Tree burning leads to:
- higher CO2, NO2 and other Greenhouse gases (GHGs). This wasn’t an issue in ancient times (when there was no industrialization). But we cannot afford more GHG in modern era.
- higher run off of rainwater. hence draught, drinking water shortage.
- we cannot find oaks, bamboo and teak forests in many regions of North East- only deciduous scrubs left. this erodes biodiversity of the region.
- soil erosion, siltation in dams.
- We import edible oil worth ~60,000 crores per year.
- Last year, delayed rainfall led to less cultivation of oilseeds.
- Therefore, agriculture ministry has suggested following reforms for this Rabi season
- However, hope of sowing coverage for oilseeds crops during rabi sowing has been raised, due to recent delay in rains.
- Suggestions from Agro-ministry to states for sowing of oil-seeds
|Rainfed areas of Assam, Chattisgarh, Eastern UP and Bihar||rapeseeds/mustard||After paddy crop|
|Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra||linseed and safflower||After kharif crops|
|Haryana, Punjab, Western UP and Bihar||sunflower||After Rabi crops|
|Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.||Ground nut||During rabi|
- The oilseeds crops can be cultivated very easily as an inter-crop.
- This will increase farmers’ income + socio-economic status.
- Less dependence on import of edible oil.
- Neera / Kalprasa is the sweet sap tapped from the coconut spathe
- Good for diaebetic patients, because coconut sugar has low glycemic index.
- Usage: ready-to-serve drink. Or making sugar without lime.
- Why in news? Because Coconut Development Board (CDB) of the Agriculture Ministry.
- They want to promote Neera as a ‘health drink’.
- At present, only Kerala is tapping the Neera sap.
- But with Government support, this segment can create ~25 lakh new jobs and increase farmers’ income by 10 times.
|Potential market||Our competitors|
|US, Canada, Norway, S.Korea etc countries with of “high income health conscious juntaa”.||Indonesia, Thailand, Srilanka, Philippines|
Q. Consider following statements about jhum cultivation
- When cycle of shifting cultivation becomes shorter, the biomass of the soil increases.
- In Jhuming, trees are burnt to provide potash nutrient to the soil.
- In theory, jhuming is less harmful to ecology than monoculture plantations.
- Tribals of Andaman-nicobar donot use jhuming or slash-n-burn technique.
- only 1, 2 and 4
- only 2 and 4
- only 2 and 3
- only 2, 3 and 4
Descriptive Question: Jhum cultivation, though primitive in methods, is an ancient way of keeping harmony with nature.” Comment (200 words.)