Livelihood Diversification of Jhumias of Manipur: A Constraint Analysis

Punitha P, Jitendra Chauhan, Ram Singh and R.J. Singh


Jhum is a type of farming system practiced predominantly by tribal farmers of North East India. The farmers who
practice such type of farming system are called as Jhumias. Therefore, prioritising the constraint in diversification
of livelihood as perceived by farmers is inevitable. To identify the constraints, 80 respondents from Watershed
Development Project in Shifting Cultivation Area and 160 respondents from Non-Watershed Development Project in
Shifting Cultivation Area were selected. The Garrett ranking technique was used to prioritise the constraints. Lack
of market access, Lack of transport subsidy for the products, Lack of proper road and absence of small scale
enterprises were the infrastructural constraint followed by lack of savings, lack of good market price of the produce,
unavailability of credit due to common property resources, lack of water resources in winter months were the
resource and economic constraints expressed by Jhumias. Primary activities not leaving enough time to pursue
diversification strategies, inadequate experience in expected livelihood, lack of role entrepreneur in my village, fear
of taking risk were the social constraints followed by less high yielding varieties in Jhum land, lack of organic weed
control method were the constraints highlighted by Jhumias. Common market place for cluster of villages, transport
subsidy for agricultural commodities, creating and showcasing role model and successful entrepreneur, developing
high yielding varieties for Jhum, popularising weed control strategies were the strategies recommended to alleviate
constraints to diversify livelihood so that pressure on Jhum and forest resources will reduce in future.

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