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New policy to address land and soil degradation in Mizoram
Under the new policy,shifting cultivation locally known as jhum cultivation will be replaced by permanent farming. It aims to solve food scarcity with addressing the concerns of degradation of forest land and soil quality caused by jhum cultivation.

Aizwal: The Mizoram government has launched an ambitious Rs 2,873 crore new land use policy to solve food scarcity by moving away from shifting cultivation to permanent farming.

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla launched the programme on Friday by distributing Rs 20,000 each to 400 farmers at a function in Aizwal, reports IANS.

Simultaneously, the new farm policy launch programme was also organised in all the eight district headquarters.

According to a senior official, of the 206,365 families in Mizoram, 120,000 families will be covered under the new land policy over a period of five years by providing them financial assistance of Rs.100,000.

The Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Veterinary, Industries, Forest, Fisheries, Sericulture and Soil and Water Conservation will be involved in the scheme.

The tribals in the hilly terrains of Mizoram have for generations been carrying out the traditional slash-and-burn method of cultivation, locally called "jhum," which has resulted in degradation of forest land and deterioration of the soil condition.

About 80 per cent of farmers in Mizoram still depend on jhum cultivation that involves clearing forests and burning trees, weeds and bamboos.

Every year many people die in jhum fires. Last year, at least nine people died.

Of the Rs 2,873 crore earmarked for the project, Rs.2,527 crore will come from centrally sponsored schemes.

"The overall growth of the state's economy is expected to increase to 16 per cent in the next 8-10 years against 6 per cent during the past decade. In 10 years, the per capita income would increase from Rs 32,634 in 2008-2009 to Rs 51,846," an official release said.

Source: iGovernment