Strengthening Agriculture in Tribal and Hill Areas
Strengthening Food Security in Tribal Areas Centre for Sustainable AgricultureTribals symbiotic relationship with forests.Forests provided food, fodder and fuel.Natural and customary rights of tribals.Ecological degradation with newer crops/practices
Forest management: Historical Changes• Free access to forest resources: Except patches for royal hunting.• No intervention by the state.• Changing times; relationship between forest & forest communities: institutionalized through various cultural & religious mechanisms.• Encouraged restraint & cautioning in using forest as a resource base.
Forest management in British India• 1865: First Indian Forest Act passed by Supreme Legislative Council.• Declaring forests and wastelands as reserved forests.• 1878: Act was further strengthened by Forest Act.• Empowered state FD to close reserve forests to people and impose penalties for any transgression of the act.• “rights” became “privileges” over night.• Forest Act 1927 further denied any customary right of forest communities over forests.• Served imperial interests• Denied minimum subsistence needs of forest communities.
Forest Policies after Indian Independence• 1952:National Forest Policy.• Retained fundamental orientation of colonial forest policies.• State monopoly over rights.• Over the decades: spate of legislations have come up geared towards conservation of forests and wild life in India.• The Wildlife Protection Act : 1972.• The Forest Conservation Act of 1980 & subsequent amendments.
Forest Act & Its Impact on Tribal Communities• Moral conflict: Tribals Customary Rights & Commercially Oriented Forest Policies.• Food security in tribal areas: hunting, gathering, foraging, shifting cultivation, settled agriculture.• Supplemented their primary means of subsistence by collecting NTFP.• State’s increasing control over forests.• Deprived of their livelihood• Undermining their customary relationship with forests.
Development Imperatives• Forest resources: acquired commodity value at the expense of their subsistence value to forest communities.• Accelerating food in-security in tribal areas.• Needs of forest communities were cornered.• Clash: Commercialization and Centralization of forest resources with subsistence needs of forest communities and Commercial Agriculture making in roads• Farm based occupations account for nearly 55% of their needs primary source of income.• Reasons for weakening of food security in tribal areas – land alienation, deforestation, decline in livestock, actual wages, work availability , development projects and conservation of forests and wild life.
• Extensive deforestation, climatic variations, change in traditional economy impacting their food security issues.• Deprivation to land, water, food and natural resources.• There is a constant struggle for their survival.• Unable to get sufficient food and nutritious food. – conditions of semi-starvation. – hunger continues to persist on mass scale and is assuming dehumanizing proportions. – food security to be build on ecological security.• Food security is an important means to realize their right to food.• Migration has become as an alternative
Hill & Tribal Agriculture in AP• Andhra Pradesh has 50.24 lakhs tribal population which constitutes 6.59% of state’s population of 762.10 lakhs (census 2001)• Tribal areas are characterized by their fragile ecosystem. These areas are home for various brooks, streams, medicinal plants and other living forms• Agriculture though main activity is not supporting fully their livelihoods. Hence they depend on seasonal fruits, NTFP and labour for their livelihood.• Any intervention in these areas will have a larger impact on the ecosystem as the interactions much more compared to the plain lands
In Araku Valley area• High rainfall areas• Stream bed paddy cultivation• Small holdings and distributed holdings• Low yields• 2 – 3 months hunger period• 2 months fodder deficit• Pesticide is not a major problem• Seed is not a major problem
Soil productivity Management• Soil is understood as strata to hold plants• Plants as nutrient mining systems• Only available nutrients are measured• External nutrient application-no measure of utilisation• Soil-chemical, biological and physical properties• Biomass application is also seen as external nutrient application…so measures only the content
What we did• Ranginavalasa, Jamiguda, Gowli, Billaput, Bejumaravalasa, Amalaguda, Dodavalasa, Godasarla and Pamurai• “Gobor Porbo”: a festival of manure• “Dongor Porbo”: hill festival• Locally suitable crops and practices – SRI in paddy – Millets
Gobor Porob and Dongor Porob Seasonal biomass for composting Taking the cultural route – Gobor porob – during Sept-Oct months 4mx2mx1.5m size heaps. Though the festival was done in one day it took almost 3 days to complete About 1 ton compost from heap was harvested. This is in addition to their traditional pit compost/manure Initially trees, weeds were used later bund plantation with gliricidia was done 800 heaps in total were made in about 50 villages/hamlets Incentive was community lunch Green manures Jeevamrit Mixed cropping
If cutting goes on????• plantation needed and weeds to be allowed for seeding• Hill planting with available seeds (tamarind, jack, mango etc) and planting material – Dongor porob• Nurseries – biomass/fodder trees were included, minor forest produce (adda leaf plants)• Done with onset of monsoons
Road Map Implement schemes affirmatively Work towards concerted efforts to boost agriculture production protecting the fragile ecosystems Provide market interventions at income and price stabilization levels Improve access to PDS & IGP (off farm and non farm)• strategy required is to promote redistribution of wealth, rights of ownership to forest produce, land reforms and decent labour rates.• Protect them from market vagaries.