Tribal farming income to be boosted, UN-India invest $168m

Rome: The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Indian government signed a $168 million pact to sustainably raise incomes and food security for tribal farming households in northeast India, IFAD reported.

The six-year project will help 201,500 rural highland farming households in tribal villages in 12 districts located in the uplands of Mizoram and Nagaland States, IFAD said.

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The target population is smallholder farmers who depend on rain-fed agriculture and a shifting cultivation system known as ‘jhum’ for their livelihoods, IFAD stated.

“Once sustainable, the jhum-based upland farming system is breaking down due to low productivity, shortening and shifting cultivation cycles with less time to restore soil fertility and biodiversity, and an increasing demand for food by a growing population,” said Meera Mishra, the IFAD country coordinator for India.

“Changing climate patterns are also having a negative effect,” Mishra added.