India’s northeastern region, forged by a unique geological history and peopled by several waves of migration, is extraordinarily complex. Farming systems in the hills and the riverine plains are embedded in a heterogeneous environment, comprising forests, wetlands and fields, shaped over centuries by nature and people. Today, the environment and economy are undergoing rapid transformation, affecting peoples’ lives, livelihoods and methods of food production.
The essays in this volume bring a multi-disciplinary perspective to critical aspects of the process of agricultural change, examine the gender dimensions of agriculture, and explore initiatives for sustainable livelihood and ecological conservation. Part I analyses the impact of policies and people’s own aspirations on the closely-intertwined ecology and economy of the region. Part II discusses the gender dynamics of farming, forestry and biodiversity in a socio-cultural context where women are primarily responsible for food production. Part III highlights some alternative farming interventions and community-based efforts for environmental conservation, sustainable resource management and improved livelihoods.
This book will be useful to scholars and students of agriculture, economics, development, environment and gender studies, and to those involved in policy analysis, natural resource management and community organisation, as also general readers interested in India’s northeastern region.
List of Tables. List of Figures. Preface. Introduction Sumi Krishna Part I. Aspects of a Changing Environment. 1. Floods and fields in the Brahmaputra valley: Twentieth-century changes in historical perspective Ritupan Goswami 2. Relation of the traditional economic system and ecology: The case of a Naga community Late U. A. Shimray 3. Why do jhumiyas jhum? Managing change in shifting cultivation areas in the uplands of northeastern India Dhrupad Choudhury 4. A dying lake: Food security versus 'development' — Loktak, Manipur Thingnam Anjulika Samom 5. Land, environmental degradation and conflicts in northeastern India Walter Fernandes. Part II. Gender Dimensions of Farming. 6. Livelihood diversification: Farming, forest-use and gender in northeastern India Deepak K. Mishra 7. Gender dynamics in agro-biodiversity conservation in Sikkim and Nagaland Chanda Gurung Goodrich 8.Gender, food security and rice farming in Tripura Vincent Darlong, D. K. Hore and S. Deb Barma 9.Mizoram’s rice economy and gender relations Audrey Ladinpuii and Laithangpuii 10.Gender ideologies and the ‘price’ of rice in northeastern India Sumi Krishna. Part III. Search for Alternatives. 11. Integrated rubber farming and livelihood systems in northeastern India P. K. Viswanathan 12. Organic farming in the northeastern hill regions Nilabja Ghosh 13A. The potential of horticultural interventions for livelihood enhancement and biodiversity conservation in Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh Sumi Krishna 13B. Rhodododendron conservation and squash production: A case study from Arunachal Pradesh K. M. Jayahari and Monalisa Sen 14. Community-based approaches to local natural resource management Vincent Darlong and S. K. Barik. Appendix: Changing land relations in northeastern India: A comparative study of six tribes and a non-tribal group Walter Fernandes and Melville Pereira. About the Editor. Notes on Contributors. Index
The uniquely diverse landscapes, societies and cultures of northeastern India, forged through complex bio-geographic and socio-political forces, are now facing rapid transition. This series focuses on the processes and practices that have shaped, and are shaping, the peoples’ identities, outlook, institutions, and economy. Eschewing the homogenising term ‘North East’, which was imposed on the region in a particular political context half a century ago, the series title refers to the ‘northeastern’ region to more accurately reflect its heterogeneity. Seeking to explore how the ‘mainstream’ and the ‘margins’ impact each other, the series foregrounds both historical and contemporary research on the region including the Eastern Himalaya, the adjoining hills and valleys, the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. It publishes original, reflective studies that draw upon different disciplines and approaches, and combine empirical and theoretical insights to make scholarship accessible for general readers and to help deepen the understanding of academics, policy-makers and practitioners.