Study on traditional cultivation practices and cropping pattern in tribal block of Jawhar in Palghar District of Maharashtra

S. Patil, S. Agale, V. Kauthale
Jawhar block of Palghar district is a hilly area that lies between 19°43’ and 20°5’N latitude and 72°55’ and 73°20’E longitude with average rainfall ranging from 2500-3000 mm. Although there is high rainfall in the monsoon season, still the year round availability of water seems to be a major bottleneck for any kind of development of the region due to higher runoff. The majority of the population belongs to the Varli, Koli Malhar, Thakur, Kathkaris or Kathodis, Kokana and Mahadev Koli communities. These tribal communities have a close relation with nature and they are dependent upon forest and seasonal agriculture for their livelihood. The main crops under cultivation in the area are paddy, finger millet, common millet, pigeon pea and black gram. The Maharashtra Gene Bank programme for participatory in situ and ex situ conservation, management and revival of local bio resources i.e., crop landraces, livestock types and forestry types in selected clusters of diverse agro-climatic zones of state of Maharashtra is undertaken. This program includes understanding the existing local bio-resources with mapping details, collection of in-depth resource specific data and documentation, incubation of in situ and ex situ conservation measures along with community groups, conducting trials for better management under controlled conditions and ultimately setting direction for long term conservation and management of worthy indigenous resources for the benefit of rural communities. The study was mainly focused on cropping pattern and cultivation practices followed in the area along with economics of growing crops like paddy, finger millet and proso millet. The evaluation of cultivation practices prevailing in the area was documented and possibilities of exploring various options for introduction of low cost sustainable cultivation practices. It has revealed that the paddy and millets are the major crops grown during the monsoon and the own food security is being fulfilled. Farmers are also adopting improved techniques of cultivation with minimum chemical inputs and thereby conserving the ecological balance.
Patil, S., Agale, S. and Kauthale, V. (2019). Study on traditional cultivation practices and cropping pattern in tribal block of Jawhar in Palghar District of Maharashtra. Acta Hortic. 1241, 349-356
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1241.50
cropping pattern, food security, sustainable cultivation practices

Acta Horticulturae