The New Land Use Policy: A Panacea for Shifting Cultivation in Mizoram

The New Land Use Policy: A Panacea for Shifting Cultivation in Mizoram

ABSTRACT

Shifting Cultivation also called jhumming is an integral part of the social cultural lives of Mizo people. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Mizoram where about 80% of the population is engaged in the practice. The increase in population has shortened the jhumming cycle and productivity considerably. The area under shifting cultivation varies from 18% to 28% of the geographical area according to numerous studies. Various scholars have opined that shifting cultivation has a negative impact on the forest and landscape. Considering this, the Government of Mizoram in 1984 launched a programme called NLUP (New Land Use Policy) and other schemes with an objective to put an end to the practice of shifting cultivation. However, the programme was not a success. A new initiative under the same name i.e. the New Land Use Policy was initiated in 2009 and which continues till today. A survey conducted by Consultative Committee for New Land Use Policy (CCN) in 2015 believes that New Land Use Policy greatly reduced the numbers of families engaged in jhum cultivation. This paper highlights as to how far New Land Use Policy has succeeded in containing the practice of shifting cultivation in Mizoram.

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