Panwar, A.S., Subash Babu, Jitendar Kumar Chauhan, Shivraj Singh Panwar and Kohima Noopur
ICAR-IIFSR, Modipuram, UP
The tribal communities often characterized by their docility, simplicity, honesty, and hardworking nature, unfortunately, frequently endure economic exploitation, physical, oppression, social ostracization and cultural isolation. This leads to enduring poverty and backwardness, compounded by limited access to education, hindering their ability to address these issues effectively. In Northeasten state of Meghalaya approximately 83 per cent of the tribal population engages in farming, shaping the predominant agricultural landscape. Two primary farming systems are prevalent: shifting cultivation, known as Jhum”, involves periodic clearing and controlled burning of forested land, while terrace agriculture, referred to as “bun” cultivation, creates terraced fields on hilly slopes for diverse crop cultivation. Tailor farming models have been developed to address agricultural and socio-economic conditions. The dairy-based model for urban and Per-urban areas emphasizes milk and dairy production for local sustenance and livelihoods. The Agro-Pastoral and Agro-horti- Silvipastoral Model is designed for challenging terrains, promoting sustainable farming on sloped lands with a focus on vegetable crops. In areas unsuitable for conventional cultivation, a Forest-based approach prioritizes forest management for timber and non-timber products, particularly benefiting absentee farmers. These tailored farming systems models have a primary goal of bolstering household-level livelihood security by aligning agricultural practices with specific requirements of local conditions and the socio-economic needs of the community. The findings reveal a compelling relationship between certain key factors and the adoption of farming systems approaches. Notably, higher education levels are associated with increased adoption, indicating the importance of knowledge and understanding in embracing innovative agricultural methods. Additionally, higher income levels enable farmers to invest in these approaches, while a strong focus on marketing aligns with a greater willingness to adopt practices that enhance agricultural output and market outcomes. Together, these factors underscore the significance of education, income, and marketing orientation in driving the adoption of sustainable farming systems.