Lack of alternative livelihood linked to Nagaland tribe’s affinity to shifting cultivation

The lack of alternative livelihood options is reinforcing the attachment of the Konyaks, a Nagaland tribe, to the practice of shifting cultivation (jhum), highlights a new study. This perceived economic security is also strengthened by their strong connections to the forests in the outer fringes of the Eastern Himalayas in northeast India.

However, increasing population of Konyaks cannot subsist on the practice, cautioned study co-author D. K. Pandey of the Central Agricultural University, Pasighat.

“Other livelihood options available for the tribe are very limited. Either they are not exposed to or trained in other vocations or settled livelihood such as the cultivation of horticultural crops is not feasible because of the hilly, inaccessible terrain they live in,” Pandey said, adding that off-farm employment opportunities too, are limited, he told Mongabay-India.