Sustainable form of Jhum cultivation in Khonoma
Alder trees are great nitrogen fixators
Nagaland holds many secrets of evolution and sustainable living within its green frontiers. Khonoma village near Kohima is one such place. It is known not only for being the last frontier the British could never conquer but also for its environmental conscious community and distinct farming practices.
The village upholds a sustainable form of jhum cultivation, which revolves around nitrogen fixating alder trees. Unlike the more popular ‘slash and burn’ form of jhum cultivation, here the trees are not felled but pollarded at a certain height. The cleared fields are cropped for two consecutive years and left fallow for about 2-4 years. With as many as 30-45 varieties of primary and supplementary crops, rich agro-biodiversity is also maintained in these fields providing sustenance for many families.
Khonoma showcases how farms can co-exist with forests and man with nature.
Original Title: Coexistence is possible-farms and forests, man and nature
First Published on India Water Portal on April 1, 2014