How traditional agriculture contributes to the global narrative for sustainability

A case from a community in Northeast India

Authors

  • Melari Shisha Nongrum Indian Institute of Public Health, Shillong
  • Bethamehi Joy Syiem National Law School of India University https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7567-1624

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2022.113.018

😐🤭😢

Keywords:

Traditional Knowledge Systems, Meghalaya, Shifting Agriculture, Shifting Cultivation, Agriculture, Indigenous Peoples, Northeast India

Abstract

😐🤭😢 Among food practices that foster climate resilience, traditional agricultural practices of Indigenous communities have been recognized and noted in recent times. These forms of agriculture include shifting cultivation and its adaptations across com­munities in the tropics. However, the policy narra­tive around shifting cultivation is rooted in its mis­understanding, as it was once seen as primitive and backward. New research and a reinterpretation of existing research present challenges to long-held policies that have discouraged and deterred the practice of shifting cultivation. With the onset of this new narrative is a call to action that seeks a rethinking by policymakers and governance actors around the nature and merits of traditional agricul­ture. Through the case of Meghalaya, a small hilly state in the Northeastern region of India large­ly inhabited by Indigenous Peoples, this commentary aims to provide the dominant narrative at the local con­text, evidence of the adaptations in shifting cultiva­tion that contribute to sustainability, and the need to rethink policy relating to shifting cultivation at the local level.

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Author Biographies

Melari Shisha Nongrum, Indian Institute of Public Health, Shillong

😐🤭😢 Ph.D.; Associate Professor

Bethamehi Joy Syiem, National Law School of India University

😐🤭😢 Master’s in Public Policy. Ms. Syiem is now working as a trade and policy specialist at Invest India.

Published

2022-06-15

How to Cite

Nongrum, M., & Syiem, B. (2022). How traditional agriculture contributes to the global narrative for sustainability: A case from a community in Northeast India. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 11(3), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2022.113.018