'Fence the cattle and cultivate freely' - Arunachal's method of cultivation


ITANAGAR: These villages in Arunachal Pradesh are slowly and gradually moving towards a more secure method of fencing and cattle regulation to prevent their agricultural lands from being destroyed by livestocks.

Siluk, a small village in Arunachal Pradesh, has become a household name in the periphery for its successful implementation of this system.

Adis (an indigenous tribe of Arunachal Pradesh) follow two opposite methods of fencing in their villages. First, fence the farm and allow cattle to roam free, while the second system is to fence the cattle and freely cultivate.

Siluk village under Mebo Sub-Division which follows the second system arguably became the cleanest village of East Siang District.

Executive Engineer WRD (Water Resource Development) of Pasighat Division, Er. Gonong Pertin explained how secure fencing methods can enable villagers to cultivate freely without fearing the destruction of crops by cattle in Arunachal Pradesh.

"Another village, Namsing under the same Sub-Division, also earned success in regulating the cattle, promoting open agriculture which is benefiting the farmers. Following this, it is now the cleanest village in East Siang district," the official said.

"The benefit is immense as the second practice of cattle fencing saves time and energy which were unproductively used up for fencing," Mibom Pertin, an elderly of Bolung village, who was part of the programme said.

He stated that it saves the cost of fencing materials like bamboo, fencing wire, wall etc. "It creates a hygienic condition of villages, kitchen gardens are possible without any Etor/fencing," he added.

"Villagers earn money by selling their bamboos which were earlier wasted in fencing and cultivation area can be extended up to a full limit of the village area,” he added.

Er. Gonong Pertin suggested this new system of cattle regulation, if implemented in the entire Arunachal, can ensure optimum productivity.

He also stated that the government will require an initiative to fence Mithun (semi-wild domestic cattle) in villages across the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Given that Mithun rearing takes up a majority of farm areas, cultivation is very limited.

"For the development of agriculture in Arunachal Pradesh, we have to emulate 'fence the cattle and cultivate freely in the farm' of Bolung village system."

(Edited by Gabriel G Momin)