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Revisiting Innovative Farming Model of Apatanis: Integration, Modernisation and Sustainability

Arindam Chakrabarty

Assistant Professor
Department of Management
Rajiv Gandhi University (Central University), RonoHills: Doimukh
Arunachal Pradesh – 791112, India

Mudang Tagiya

Research Scholar
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology
Arunachal Pradesh- 791110, India


In the era of modernity and rapid economic growth, the global society has been thriving towards excellence by culmination of new knowledge, understanding and innovative application of science and technology. The momentum is so vivid, time bound and result oriented. Hardly anybody of us has the patience or courage to look back our glorious milestones i.e. where from we have been originated. For every problem we want a solution which is cosmetic, synthetic and lab centric. But we undermine the natural & traditional knowledge system as a result of our feeling of pseudo superiority.

Indigenous knowledge system is so enriched and well-tested in the journey of human civilization that it encompasses all the facets of life for many centuries. In traditional farming techniques, the society has been witnessing a phenomenal success within the limiting resources and constraints.

With the explosions of population, the areas of cultivable lands have been decreasing day by day. We are into a trade off situation, one hand, we need high growth of agriculture productivity and on the other hand, we have to use lands for settling our increasing population. The irony remains that in land based agriculture it is two dimensional whereas for aquatic culture it is three dimensions. So, the Apatani model of agriculture may be the assimilation of land based agriculture and aquaculture on same place so that we can enhance multiplier of economic value creation without using much land for agriculture. We can balance both the conflicting criteria i.e. increase of agriculture productivity and increase of habitats into synergic and sustainable solutions.

The Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh have been practicing the fusion of both the version of agriculture practice by producing rice and fish which is known as paddy-carp and in local language it is popular as ‘AgiiNgiie’. This is unique model of agricultural practices where constraints of land and resources, investments can be easily be leveraged.

The present study attempted to examine what extent the traditional farming practices of Apatanies are contributing higher economic value to the indigenous population and the society at large. The study explored to identify what other economic activities can be augmented with the existing practices. This was indeed an empirical approach so that the outcome of the study could be a model for the rest of India particularly in the plateau and similar hilly regions in the country.

Key words: Innovation, Integration, Indigenous farming, Sustainability, Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh.

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