Conservation and Sustainable Management of Traditional Agro-ecosystems in Central Himalaya, India

Abhishek Chandra, Vikram Singh Negi, Laxman Singh Kandari, J. Dinakaran, Rakesh Kumar Maikhuri, K S Rao

Abstract


The majority of population in the Indian Himalayan region resides in rural areas and depends primarily on farming system for their sustenance and well-being. This region has a long heritage of the subsistence economy, with agriculture being the core component involving over 70% of its population. Biophysical, socio-cultural and economic variations in the Himalaya have led to the evolution of diverse and unique farming systems, crop species/varieties and management practices particularly in the central Himalaya. Various types of traditional farming practices have been developed by the local community to conserve the crop diversity in the region. The local farming community are the custodians for the improvement of crop diversity in the Himalayan region. Nevertheless, there is a steady decline in the cultivation of traditional crops, due to the perturbation of socioeconomic and environmental condition in the Himalayan region even though, several crop varieties are conserved because of their medicinal and religious values. In the region traditional crops were mostly replaced with cash crops during the recent past, due to the changing economic aspiration and as an adaptation to climatic variability. Therefore, the suitable policy and government support is warranted to conserve the traditional crop diversity, an advanced adaptation measures like making available information and sustaining sponsoring soil conservation practices, launching climate smart varieties and advanced adaptation measures based on various agro-ecological zones. in the Indian Himalayan region.

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