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Arunachal’s Wancho farmers tour ICAR Longing for Jhum Cultivation

Wancho community which relies heavily on subsistence agriculture, lacks awareness of the latest trends, and technologies in farming.

Jhum Cultivation, which is otherwise regarded to be an unproductive form of farming detrimental to the environment is practiced by the Wanchos inhabiting the Longding District of Arunachal Pradesh for decades now.

However, it is felt that the Wancho community which relies heavily on subsistence agriculture, lacks awareness of the latest trends, and technologies in farming.

In order to understand the concerns of the Wancho farmers and contribute to their capacity building, the Longding Battalion of Assam Rifles held a consultative meet with the Wancho Farmer’s Welfare Association, an agriculture-based NGO, Dr Kiran Kumar Singh, Senior Scientist and Head of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, and Gabriel D Wangsu, the MLA Kanubari who has expertise in farming practices.

Based on the suggestions, the Assam Rifles battalion organised a maiden tour of 10 shortlisted farmers from remote villages of Wancho region to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research at Meghalaya’s Umiam in conjunction with Wancho Farmer’s Welfare Association and thereby generating awareness among the farmers to migrate from subsistence to commercial agriculture.

During the two-day visit to the Agricultural Research Centre, the Wancho farmers were given first-hand exposure to terrace farming, organic farming, medium-scale piggery and poultry farming, animal husbandry and livestock management, and apiculture (beekeeping practices). They were also given sessions on the latest trends and technologies in agricultural farming.

Notably, the Assam Rifles Battalion based in Longding has decided to organize a Farmer Mela in Longding very soon to ensure that majority of farmers residing in remote villages of Longding District benefit from the experiences of the other farmers who visited ICAR.

It may be mentioned here that the Assam Rifles Battalion in Longding has infused vibrancy in the land of Wanchos. Earlier, the Battalion supported and encouraged the Wancho Cultural Society to revive the indigenous sports and culture.

First Published: 19th May, 2022 14:58 IST

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