Agriculture is one of the most important pillars of the Meghalaya’s economy. More than 80% of the population in Meghalaya is dependent on agriculture for its subsistence. It is one of the most important aspect of economic development, it has been one of the main drivers of growth of the economy as it supplies was a major source of natural produces to most of the manufacturers.
In spite, of its great significance to Meghalaya’s economy, the share of agriculture and its allied activities in Meghalaya is continuously declining over the years. This predicament is caused due to many factors that are cropping problems to farmers. Our Zizira explorers team are always learning by working closely with famers. Here are a few insights we have on the agricultural problems faced by farmers in Meghalaya.
A Story of a Traditional Turmeric Farmer
The Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya is home to the finest turmeric in the world with its “Lakadong” variety. Here, subsistence and marginal farmers cultivate turmeric for self–consumption and sale at the local markets. But that doesn’t take away the high demand it has both at the national and international spice market. Lakadong turmeric is believed to have more than 7% curcumin content, (an extract from turmeric which is said to have medicinal properties) that’s one of the highest in the world.
Zizira’s explorers recently travelled all over the Jaintia Hills in a bid to work with the turmeric farmers there and in the process, open up the market for them.
Next Generation Farmers Moving Away from Farming?
What happens if next generation farmers move away from farming in an agrarian economy? This question came up during a Zizira field visit where the team met with farmers who have been following farming as that is what their parents did. "Meghalaya is basically an agricultural state with about 80% of its population depending entirely on agriculture for their livelihood" says Wikepedia A team of two visited Umlyngka village in East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya in the last week of April 2015. We bring you their first–hand report – on the fruits and vegetables that grow there and a hard working lady farmer they met.