Juhm farming in nagaland1
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Juhm farming in nagaland1 Juhm farming in nagaland1 Presentation Transcript

  • Juhm Farming in Nagaland Sustainable slash and burn agriculture in North East India All photos © Julian Swindell
  • Nagaland, NE Indian state
  • Kohima, Capital of Nagaland
  • Kohima War Cemetery
  • Nagaland is intensely tribal
  • Quite tough tribes…
  • Angouli, from the Angami tribe
  • Hekani, from the Suomi tribe (with a “European”)
  • Kohnoma, home village of the Angami
  • Angouli at the very edge ofthe British Empire
  • All firewood is moved on footin back baskets
  • Traditional clothing is based on warm, woollenshawls, woven on back-strap looms
  • The valley is intensively cultivated in terraces
  • Smaller “market garden” terraces run up to the village itself
  • Villagers can be in the fields in minutes
  • Potatoes, corn, beans and over 20 varieties of rice
  • There are no written histories and all constructions are saidto be “about one hundred years old. They are clearly ancient.
  • Flooded terraces are used for rice at low level andfish farming at higher levels
  • Crops are planted and managed by hand and rotated
  • Towards the top of the terracing, things start tolook different. Notice all the trees
  • Juhm shifting farming, based on Nepalese alder trees
  • The trees are pollarded, traditionally on an eight yearRotation. Branches are used for firewood and building
  • The trees are not cut down. After each pollarding, waste woodis burnt and ash spread around trees, and crops planted.
  • These trees show about one year’s growth, and the land aroundis still being cropped.
  • After two years of cropping, the land and trees areleft to regenerate for another six years.
  • After four years it looks like completely abandonedfarm land, but it is actually under a careful management system
  • The Angami valley is unique in Nagaland. In all other tribes, nearlyall of the trees have been cleared and the land farmed conventionally
  • The Juhm system extends beyond the terraces, upthe open valley sides
  • Farming on the hillsides is not as easy or asproductive as in the terraces.
  • Where undergrowth is cleared on hillsides, steps aretaken to stop open soil erosion.
  • Livestock, semi-wild cattle, are confined to the hillsides above thearable fields. They are brought into the village for slaughter. Everyhousehold also has a pig. Nagas eat anything that moves…
  • Kohima market is not for the faint hearted, (such as me)These eels come from the terraced fields. I didn’t ask where thewriggly black things with a million little legs came from
  • But do go to Nagaland, it is wonderful and welcoming. But note,If two of you want to go together, you do have to be married!