Field visit to Botsa


Familiarization of traditional agriculture – Jhum


24th Sept 2013

Background:


Botsa is the last northern rural township of Angami tribe located near the border of Rengma tribe area under Kohima district. It is about 33 km from kohima(an hour drive) and located in between Kohima-Wokha-Mokokchung road of NH-61. It is an Administrative HQ for neighboring 8-9 villages under the administration of Extra Assistant Commissioner ( EAC). The place is popularknown for weary travellers’ midway eating- joints. Touphema – cultural tourist village is just 4 km away from Botsa town.
Botsa is located under sub-tropical and moderate climate, having pleasant summer and not too cold winter. Temperature ranges from 9’c to 33’ c. Dec &jan are the coldest month, frost occur occationally during these months. Rainy season starts from May to Oct. It is situated at an altitude of about 1400 mts with lat-long of 25°51’21.14”N and 94°9’32.63” E

What to see and expect to come across:


  • Observe contemporary land use system - overview
  • Watershed at a glance – Conservation upstream, midstream settlement area and downstream TRC
  • Visit to nearest Jhum field – in situ observation in general
  • Interaction with farmer (s)
  • Scope for improvement – value add

These community practices both Terrace Rice Cultivation (TRC) and Jhum. A typical environmental governance and judicious use of resources through conservation of a good catchment areas for both irrigation to downstream TRC areas and domestic usage as well. Indigenous Irrigation water management and also culturing of other crops

Land use system and cropping pattern in a typical system of agriculture – Jhum, with diverse crops for food security (rich agro-biodiversity – about 30-40 different crops per plot), cropping calendar, traditional soil erosion control measures and management, preservation of tree poles and mother plants for regeneration, pest and disease management, gender roles and responsibility for different inter- culture activities and operations, etc

Possible learning:

Traditional land holding system from time immemorial with virtually no dispute of land boundary despite absence ofdocument and modern legal paper.
Jhum – circumstantial climate change adaptation practice, practice may intertwine with culture& tradition, judicious use of resources, in-situ N fixation crop, crop diversity - food security and sustenance, traditional erosion control measures, input and output - income
Impact on environment - depletion of tree cover, carbon release during burning of field and also in-situ carbon stock, labor intensive (year-round activities)

Possible Queries:

  • Do jhum sustain family requirement ?
  • For kitchen sustenance, what jhumfarmers purchase from market ?
  • If not jhum what alternative for livelihood ?

# Field itinerary (tentative):

  • 0800 Hrs : Depart Kohima
  • 0930 Hrs : Arrive Jhum field site & interaction with farmers
  • 1130 Hrs : Tea/coffee at Botsa
  • 1200 Hrs : Watershed view near Botsa
  • 1330 Hrs : Lunch at Tuophema tourist village & cultural entertainment
  • 1430 Hrs : Proceed to Kohima
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