Growing crops is a challenge in the hilly terrain of Assam-India. To counter this, Sloping Agriculture and Land Technology (SALT) has been introduced as an alternative farming method to the farmers in place of jhum. Farmers are trained on – A-frame or making the contour line by using the A-frame; and planting Nitrogen Fixing Trees (NFT) as hedge rows in the contour line. These NFTs act as barriers to prevent the soil from eroding and at the same time to increase soil fertility. In between the rows, the farmers cultivate other crops ranging from permanent, semi-permanent to seasonal crops depending on the farmers. Farmers are motivated to adopt the SALT method as it simple, easy, and affordable.
Simultaneously, farmers are also trained on livestock rearing such as piggery in the SALT farm as the pig dung can double up as fertilizer for the SALT farm.
One of the recipients of this training is Dibi Boro from Umjarha village of Jirang Block in the Ri-Bhoi district. Dibi is a poor farmer working on a small plot of about one acre land given to her by her parents at the time of her marriage.
Partner farmer organization at Meghalaya provided training in SALT, SRI, Kitchen Gardening, Livestock, Water Harvesting, Composting, etc. to Dibi.
Dibi then commenced SALT farming after observing the benefits which practicing this new technology brought to her peer farmers. She planted NFTs as contour line and fruits like pineapples, oranges and litchi. She also started rearing pigs in her SALT farm as their dung could be later put to use as compost for the fruits, plants and crops.
Thanks to SALT Farming Dibi has had a rich and healthy fruit yield this season.