Hydrological engineering for sustainable shifting agriculture in the Eastern tropical Himalayas: A conceptual discussion


Shifting agriculture has been regarded as the cause of degradation to most types of natural resources in the Eastern Himalayas. Attempts have been made by certain agencies to abolish the system or find alternatives but failed. Physical barriers arising from rugged topography along with the socio-economic conditions are the major hindrances for improved agricultural systems. Discussions on problems related to shifting agriculture and natural resources conservations have been made based on literature review and researches conducted in the region. Rainfall and vegetative cover being the major determinants of erosion intensity in the region, hydrological engineering model for on-farm soil conservation practices has been developed to control runoff, enhance rainfall interception and retain soil moisture and organic matter. Measures for on-site soil conservation include the use of locally available resources with the application of simple technology and economically inexpensive for the ignorant and poor marginal farmers.

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