Meghalaya

The hilly state characterized by elevated ranges, foothills and valleys has less than 10% of the geographical area under cultivation. The soils are red and yellow, moderately deep, acidic and low in phosphorus. Shifting cultivation (jhum) is the traditional farming practice. Rice and maize are the two important crops. Soil erosion on slopes is a problem. Suggested technological interventions for natural resource management for agriculture in the state are as follows:

Watershed management with 3-tier system to control soil erosion and increase land productivity as an alternative to shifting cultivation

Amelioration of soils through liming and fertilization in east and west Khasi hills

Vermicomposting for fruit and plantation crops

Integrated farming system involving rice, horticulture, pig and poultry

Rice

The state has 0.1 million ha under rice cultivation which covers mainly rainfed areas. The state average productivity is about 1.7 tonnes/ha. The major constraints in production are low coverage of high-yielding varieties, practice of jhum cultivation, acid soils and leaching loss of nutrients like N and K. The suggested interventions are:

Growing high-yielding varities like NEH Megha Rice 1, NEH Megha Rice 2, Shah Sarang 1, Lam Pnah

   1 (irrigated); Bha Lum 1, Bha Lum 2, Sukhar dhan (upland)

Application of lime

Discouraging jhum cultivation and encouraging improved agricultural practices

Maize

Area under maize cultivation has remained the same for the last 5 years i.e., 16,900 ha. The production (24,100 tonnes) and productivity (1.426 tonnes/ha) are also constant. Maize is mainly used for piggery feed in the state. The constraints in achieving higher productivity are cultivation of low yielding local land races in acidic soils with aluminum toxicity and non-availability of improved variety seed. Suitable technological interventions are:

Planting high-yielding hybrids and composites

Seed production in upland areas to enable timely availability to farmers

Replacement of land races by improved cultivars like RCM 1 1, RCM 1 3, QPM Maize Shakti 1 and

  HQPM 1; single cross hybrids Vivek 9, Vivek 21

Growing of QPM maize quality feed to promote pig farming

Pineapple

Pineapple is one of the major fruit crops of Meghalaya, grown in 9,500 ha with a production of 91,700 tonnes and yield of 9.7 tonnes/ha, which is below the national average

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