By R Lester Makang
UKHRUL, June 8: Despite availability of abundant lands suitable for agricultural farming, major portions of the lands in Ukhrul district continue to lie idle/waste reflecting poor returns in primary sector of the economy, according to a recent NGOs statistical report.
The report noted that only a meagre 5 per cent of the total agricultural lands under cultivation annually account for 75 per cent of total work force of the district populace, of which four per cent are under annual jhum cultivation and one pc under Khariff cultivation.
It then suggested low production, poor nutrition, low income etc. for the people as the inevitable outcomes of the gross difference in land utilization and deployment of work force.
Painting a grim picture, the report recorded only four per cent as deciduous or evergreen forests while a vast 79 per cent of the total lands available in agricultural sector are lying waste as degraded forest /scrub lands while another 12 per cent as fallow owing to jhum cycle.
Further the report showed that a vast expanse comprising 95 per cent of the total lands —which are potentially biggest assets of the district populace — account for just one per cent of total work force of the district thereby implying a thinnest possible economic return.
It then inferred that the total areas of degraded forest, waste farm lands etc. could be properly utilized to uplift economic conditions of the peoples by focusing on forestry and its products, horticultural& agricultural products like fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicinal plants etc. while also deducing animal husbandry, fishery and bees and honey as another viable options.
The report has been based on land classification, land utilization and deployment of work force in the primary/agricultural sector of the economy of the district.