Develop, demonstrate and upscale sustainable land management practices for the conservation of jhum (shifting cultivation) lands in the North Eastern State of Nagaland through an ecosystem approach.
D. Progress toward Development Objective
Description of Indicator
Target Level at end of project
Level at 30 June 2013
Level at 30 June 2014
Level at 30 June 2015
To develop, demonstrate and upscale sustainable land management practices for the conservation of jhum (shifting cultivation) lands in Nagaland through an ecosystem approach
No change in primary forest cover in project sites
Baseline measured in Y1
In Y4, improved forest cover or remains the same as in baseline
Improved forest cover, soil and water conservation measures across 18,508.90 Ha. Activities such as jhum fallow management through plantation and bamboo plantation like Alder, tree beans, khokon, local fuel wood and leguminous crops and economically viable crops such as cardamom has helped directly or indirectly. Project implementation strategy for these activities includes participatory planning, awareness creation, institution building for sustainable land and ecological management.
Focused interventions in project areas through participatory planning, awareness creation, institution building for sustainable land and ecosystem management during this reporting period has secured forest cover of approximately 1274 ha through its inclusion in the bylaws of the land use committees formed in the project villages through a participatory process. According to the participatory land use planning carried out in project villages, some land around every village has been demarcated and kept aside as reserve forest by the communities themselves. The action plan of the village land use committees which include resolutions such as leaving 15 to 20 trees standing in every hectare of jhum field, protection of vegetation along water bodies, hill tops and ridges, and maintenance of a buffer zone has helped increase forest cover at the project sites. Interventions and local advocacy movement to increase forest cover by supporting plantation of locally preferred trees that may be used for fruits, fuel-wood and /or timber has added to the green cover of jhum sites.
Active community involvement and sensitization ahead of the jhum slashing season has helped create massive awareness amongst the jhum cultivators. There has been increased forest cover of 4550 hectares through measures such as improved fallow management, maintenance of buffer zones along major streams, rivers and in the jhum areas and creation of new forest areas as proposed in the land use action plans prepared through the participatory land use plans. The Land Use Committees have followed up on the proposed activities and decisions documented in the participatory village action plans and bylaws.
Land area where improved jhum agroforestry systems are in place
90,000 hectares of land covering approximately 70 villages in 3 districts by Y4
Improving jhum agro forestry systems in the three project districts, 12,537.30 ha have been covered through soil and water conservation measures, azolla cultivation, water provisioning and plantations of forest, horticultural and agronomical crops such as cardamom, tree beans, alder tree, bamboo, soya bean, lentil, khokon, Naga neem, gooseberry, terminelia species, schima species, oak tree etc.
As a follow-up to the formation of village land-use committees, and as per the action plan formed by them, the project has extended support in jhum agro-forestry systems with interventions such as inclusion of livestock management, construction of water harvesting ponds and other water provisioning mechanisms for jhum lands, soil and water conservation measures in jhum lands, fallow management measures and plantations. The project has dissuaded local communities from letting the jhum lands, after slashing and burning, from lying completely barren, and having some vegetation cover there instead. About 731 ha of jhum land have been extended direct support during this reporting period.
Further to the land use action plans developed in each of the project villages the project has extended direct support to jhum agro-forestry systems across 2275 hectares through adoption of fallow management practices and replication of soil and water conservation measures. Additionally, 15 water sources have been identified, conserved and protected by the community under the support of the project.
Decrease in rates of soil erosion in project sites
Baseline for project sites to be measured in Y1; erosion rates for the target districts are estimated as:
Same or less than baseline
As per the study conducted by the project team, the soil erosion rate has decreased after project intervention at the rate of 0.2 mt/ha/year. (It\'s the first study on the soil erosion rate conducted in this project)
The soil erosion rate has decreased significantly in the project sites within this reporting period through soil conservation measures, timely plantation of trees in the jhum fields, proper maintenance of fallow land, active involvement of the Village Land Use Committees in mobilising the community to maintain buffer zones and protecting water bodies, streams, hill tops and ridges. The project interventions have led to a noticeable decrease in the rate of soil erosion at the rate of 0.2 mt/ha/year in project areas.
Community sensitization on the importance of soil and water conservation in jhum areas by the LUC through different platforms has led to increased replication of measures such as carrying out timely plantations and placing biomass along the slopes. This has led to a reduction in the rate of soil erosion by about 20.20 mt/ha/year in the project sites.
Mokokchung: 60 mt/ha/year
Same or less than baseline
Mon: 40-50 mt/ha/year
Same or less than baseline
Mon- 14-24 mt/ha/yr
Mon- 20 mt/ha/yr
Wokha: 40-50 mt/ha/year
Same or less than baseline
Wokha- 15-20 m/ha/year
Wokha- 20 mt/ha/year
Increase in incomes of target communities
Baseline to be measured during the project inception phase
10% improved income
The income of 1008 households in three project districts has increased by 15-20% through access to existing credit facilities, agriculture Revolving fund and sales from increased yield of the jhum fields.
The introduction of soil enrichment measures and high yielding variety of seeds in this reporting period has considerably increased the production rate, thus increasing the average household income in the project villages. The documented increase in income of 1244 households in the three project districts is 20.4 %. Additional income from activities like livestock interventions, credit provisioning facilities, sale of jhum produce, vermi-compost, cash crops like cardamom and tea, tree saplings, and beekeeping have been reported within the reporting period.
A 25% increase in jhum production rate has been recorded in 1710 households during the reporting period. As part of the project, a study on market assessment of jhum produce was conducted in the project area during the reporting period. The findings of the study demonstrated that the average annual sale from jhum produce per family in the project villages is INR 10,723 per annum. The study also revealed that while 63% of the surveyed farmers felt that there had been an increase in production, 78% felt income from agriculture had increased. Of the surveyed farmers, 83% had increased production of cash crops in the last five years, indicating enhanced linkages with the market economy. The increase is attributed to various sustained livelihood interventions of the project, improved Jhum practices, IFD, livestock activities by the community, credit facilities, and promotion of women SHGs through Agriculture Revolving Funds, among others.
The policy, regulatory and institutional environment in support of jhum agroforestry systems is strengthened
Strengthened Agriculture frameworks that explicitly support enhancing sustainability of jhum systems
Policy does not support enhancing sustainability of jhum systems
Policy explicitly supports enhancing sustainability of jhum systems by Y4
Community-based, landscape level land use plans have been developed for four villages to strengthen the existing traditional land management systems. Community based Land use committees have been formed to ensure the implementation of the plan. Land use plan will be developed for all the project villages. The plan will include good practice guidelines which outline the key steps and process for stakeholders to come together and discuss how to manage lands sustainability.
To enhance sustainability of jhum systems and strengthen the existing traditional land management systems, community based landscape level land use plans have been developed for 26 project villages in a participatory manner. Land Use Committees (LUCs) were formed exclusively for the management of the Land Use Action Plans drawn up by the community. The LUC is a platform for discussion of all land related issues in the villages and can also act as a conduit for conservation of jhum lands. Efforts have been made to bring the land- use committees under the umbrella of the village councils. This will be completed in all project villages in 2014. Experience sharing on LUC is planned in the month of August 2014 during the District Planning and Development Board meeting at the district levels, wherein all the elected legislatures and government departments examine and recommend replication of the LUP model in the respective districts, beyond the project villages. This will be the first step in influencing the state level agricultural framework.
Completed Participatory Land Use Planning (PLUP) exercises in 9 villages during this reporting period. Dedicated Land Use Committees (LUC) were formed to act as a platform for management and conservation of jhum lands. A field based legal and policy study was completed during the reporting period by Indian Environment Law offices (IELO). The findings of the study identified Participatory Land Use Planning as a critical tool for ensuring long term ecological sustainability of jhum land mangement in the state and recommended that for ensuring the long term sustainability of LUCs established under the project, they should be institutionalized under the umbrella of the Village Council/Village Development Board/Communitization Act. A consultative workshop was conducted with multi-level stakeholders in the state on mainstreaming sustainable jhum practices into existing legal and policy frameworks of Nagaland, where the findings of the study were presented. After considerable deliberations, the stakeholders felt that the Land Use Committees would function best under the Village Councils. Based on the findings of the study and the recommendations, the state government stakeholders have drawn up the following way forward: -The need to have land use policy instead of Jhum land Policy. -The Village Council Act to be considered and moved forward to Home department for review. -Land Use Committees brought under the umbrella of Village Councils or village development board. -To initiate next round of consultative meetings with the NGOs, Land Owners, Local Institutions by the state government
Creating enabling environment in Forest regulations that explicitly recognize and support improved jhum systems as sustainable agroforestry systems that improve forest health
Stresses adverse environmental impact of jhum
Explicit recognition and support for improved jhum systems as sustainable agroforestry systems that improve forest health by Y4
Participatory land use plan (P3DM), documentation of the traditional land use practices and participatory resource mapping has supported the village council in strengthening the existing regulation on land and forest management. Community based land use action plan provides an enabling environment for improved local ecosystem and livelihood.
Formation of Land Use Committees (LUCs), which have representation from all sections and institutions of the village, including even the usually marginalized sections such as women and landless farmers, and their subsequently formed action plans which addressed issues such as food security and ecosystem balance have created an enabling environment for sustainable jhum and forest management systems. The Action plan of the newly formed LUCs include by-laws for improving forest health and sustainable jhum practices by creation of buffer zones, retention of vegetation on hill tops, protecting and conserving existing water bodies and initiating plantation in fallow lands. These initiatives have supported the village council in strengthening their existing regulations on jhum land and forest management. Legal experts will be hired in August 2014 to assess the relevant legal and policy framework of the state to support promotion of improved sustainable jhum in the state.
Legal experts from Indian Environment Law Offices (IELO) were commissioned to conduct a study for developing a legal and policy framework for the state to support improved sustainable jhum practices integrating the principle of sustainable land and ecosystem management.The IELO team has reported great success of the LUC and PLUP model in the project area. The study has found PLUP and LUC to be enabling tools to support improved jhum systems as sustainable agroforestry systems that improve forest health. The study reported lack of legal status to be a significant weakness of LUC as an institution. Institutionalizing the LUCs as empowered institutions with legal or statutory validity is required. A consultative workshop conducted with multi-stakeholders in the state recommended institutionalizing the LUCs through the state home department by reviewing the Village Council Act. In connection with this, consultative meetings with NGOs, land owners, and local institutions are also to be initiated by the state.
Credit provisioning systems enabled for farmers who work on communally owned lands
No support for extending credit to farmers who work on communally owned lands
Provisions for extending credit to such farmers are integrated into the policy by Y4
Credit provisioning has been provided to 350 households, including those farmers who work on communally owned lands.
To ensure that the credit provisioning facilities are utilised as planned, credit in livestock has also been initiated in some project villages during the reporting year. Under this provision, beneficiary farmers are provided loans in the form of livestock, and after a certain stipulated period they return the borrowed credit, again in the form of livestock. This system is self-managed by the village land use committees. In this way a revolving credit system in livestock is created, in which the livestock collected are further distributed amongst other needy farmers. This system coupled with agriculture revolving fund has so far supported 180 households (mostly women) in the reporting period. Ten self-help groups (SHGs) have been provided credit facilities by linking them to a bank through a local NGO. This is also a part of the exit strategy for making the SHGs independent and self-sufficient.
An additional 130 households were assisted with credit facilities during the reporting period. The newly initiated credit in livestock scheme that was introduced during the previous reporting period has now been extended to benefit 40 self help groups. The self help groups formed in previous years have demonstrated marked improvement in not only credit management but also book keeping skills through regular monitoring and training. Their concept of SHG and their functioning has also expanded.
Integrated land-use planning at landscape level encouraged and strengthened.
Draft guidelines approved by Y2
Participatory integrated land use plans have been developed in four villages and approved by the village councils. The same process will be conducted in all the project villages.
Participatory Land use plans in 26 project villages have been developed and further strengthened through follow up meetings. Action plans have been formed in consultation with the village community. Further, the action plans of the villages have been shared with other stakeholders and agriculture and allied departments to ensure synergic convergence. This will be done in all project villages in 2014.
Participatory Land use plans have been completed in the remaining 9 project villages. These have been further strengthened through follow up meetings. Action plans have been formed in consultation with the village community. Further, the action plans of the villages have been shared with other stakeholders and agriculture and allied departments to ensure synergic convergence. The project has also started supporting some of the villages in the implementation of the action plans. Action has also been taken to institutionalize the PLUPs and LUCs under the umbrella of the Village Councils.
Increase in joint extension activities by different departments (agriculture, horticulture, S&WC, land resource development, forest, animal husbandry)
Extension activities are undertaken separately
In target villages all extension services are coordinated according to an integrated plan by Y2
The project activities are carried out after proper consultation and coordination with other line departments, civil society organizations and local institutions. Local institutions are involved in every level of the project implementations, such as planning, selections, implementations and monitoring of the project. Consultation workshop and paper presentation on Land use plan has been successfully conducted with the line departments and further consultation with the line departments has been planned under the chairmanship of the Agriculture Production Commissioner, government of Nagaland.
The Chief Secretary of Nagaland recommended that the project activities be aligned with the agriculture and allied departmental activities, under the stewardship of the Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Nagaland. A number of consultative meetings with line departments have been held under different aegis and platforms during the reporting year. Periodic consultative meetings have been organised with agriculture and allied departments for coordinated implementation of programmes in the targeted areas. The village land-use plans have helped the line departments to work in close coordination and the introduction of new village by-laws to protect jhum and forest lands has brought the different stakeholders under one umbrella for better implementation of the same.
The joint extension work has been carried out in all project districts involving all the line departments under the state co-financing programme initiated by the Agriculture Production Commissioner. The village land-use action plans have helped the line departments to work in close coordination with the Village Land Use Committees and has resulted in increased convergence in the target project villages. Reports of consultative meeting, market assessment surveys etc. conducted by the project have been shared with the line departments, NGOs and various stakeholders to initiate increased joint extension services in marketing of agri-horticultural crops from the state. Under the Agriculture Production Commissioner, the planned activities of market initiatives in the state have been pursued through the agriculture department. Cross learning and farmer exposure field visits from non project areas to project areas have increased joint extension support to the farmers. Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA), KVK, ATMA, many government stakeholders, soil conservation trainees, students, institutions, farmers, etc have availed of the best practices documented and demonstrated through the Centre of Excellence.
Options for improving the sustainability of jhum agroforestry systems are developed and demonstrated in selected project sites (70 villages spread over the 3 districts of Mon, Mokokchung and Wokha in Nagaland)
Land productivity indicator (measure of returns from farming calculated as outputs minus inputs, e.g. yield minus inputs)
Baseline measured in Y1
Productivity improved by 5% over the baseline
The project has not specifically conducted a scientific study or measurement of the output from the jhum fields but it is evident from the semi-structured interviews with the farmers that the quality and quantity of the jhum produce have improved substantially. A technical study on jhum productivity study will be conducted in the year 2013-14.
Primary assessments indicated that there were marked improvements in the production following the interventions of Integrated Farming Approaches to support sustainable jhum agro- forestry systems. The project had conducted a study on market assessment of jhum produce in 26 project villages within the reporting period and found the farmers reported an increase in production levels. A socio-economic impact study will be conducted in the year 2014-15.
The project interventions to improve jhum practices like soil conservation activities (contour bunding, bench terracing, contour trenching, etc), improved irrigation facilities, improved fallow management, and better crop management have improved soil fertility in managed jhum cultivation and fallow areas, thereby resulting in demonstrated high productivity levels. The market assessment study on jhum produce indicated that cash crops were contributing significantly to the village economy and that a majority of small farmers in the project districts were growing small quantities of each of the different types of cash crops in order to diversify and reduce risks. The average annual sale from jhum produce per family in the project area was INR 10723 and 63% of the farmers felt an increase in production while 83% said that they had increased the production of cash crops in the last five years. 78% of surveyed farmers felt income from agriculture had increased in the last five years. The socioeconomic impact assessment study carried out by InSPIRE also reported a 17.6% increase per annum in the annual household incomes of the project villages from the year 2011 to 2014, which was mainly attributed to the successful project interventions.
Lengthening of jhum cropping phase
3 years by Y4
Through the project intervention on integrated land based, plantations and water based activities, it has improved the sustainability of jhum agroforestry systems and increase in land productivity, thereby increasing the jhum cropping phase from 2 years to 3 years across the three project districts.
The scientific measures for land and water conservation, suitable technical support provided for fallow management, planting nitrogen fixing plants and appropriate intervention measures undertaken for improving soil fertility have significantly lengthened the jhum cropping phase from 2 to 3 years across all the project districts. These successful and promising interventions are also being replicated in other non-project villages.
The socioeconomic and ecological study carried out by InSPIRE during the reporting period has found that the scientific and appropriate intervention measures undertaken for improving soil fertility have significantly lengthened the jhum cropping phase from one to four years in the project areas. These successful interventions have also been replicated in other non-project villages.
Lengthening of jhum fallow phase
The fallow phase has increased from 8-9 years due to number of factors Ã¢ labour shortage, other gainful employment opportunities, permanent cultivation etc.
As per the data received from local institutions in targeted areas, there is an indication that the fallow phase has witnessed an average increase of 8-9 years. Interestingly, some areas have shown an encouraging trend of increase in fallow period of up to 14 years. The increase in the fallow period may be attributed to a number of factors Ã¢ labour shortage, other gainful employment opportunities, permanent cultivation etc.
Increase in the cropping phase from one to four years in the project areas will also have a spillover positive impact on further lengthening of the fallow phase. The socioeconomic and ecological impact study carried out during the reporting period indicated that the target communities in the project area are willing to increase the jhum fallow phase even though it maybe too early to assess the impact of the project on the jhum cycle. The willingness to increase the fallow phase may be attributed to a number of factors pro active land use committees for improved jhum management practices, improved and judicious management of jhum areas encouraged by the project, labour shortage, other gainful employment opportunities, permanent cultivation etc.
Increase of 5% over baseline. Effort will be made to include as much as women beneficiaries as possible (say 50%)
Sale of organic grown produce by the women self help groups has reported an increase of annual family income by 15-20% in 1009 households across the three project districts.
According to a study conducted in 25 project villages in three districts, the total estimated value of sales of three most important cash crops (chilli, ginger and colocasia) is approx. Rs 6.7 crore (USD1116667) annually with an average annual sale value per village at Rs. 26.7 lakhs (USD 44,500). A significant portion of this sales value can be directly attributed to the project, which has witnessed a consistent increase in income of project households, by over 15% annually. During this reporting period alone, 1564 households have reported an increased income of 20% from sale of organically grown produce. The introduction of soil enrichment measures in this reporting period have considerably increased the jhum production, thus resulting in increased household income in the project villages.
The market assessment of jhum produce study reported a profit margin of 30-35% from sale of organic produce in the project areas. The study interviewed 101 local traders across the three project districts and found out that the local traders were responsible for more than 50% of the sale of organic produces. The total sale per annum by the 101 traders amounted to approximately INR 30.4 million and the average sale per trader was about INR 300,000.
Number of women benefiting from marketing of produce from jhum fields
Baseline measured in target villages in Y1
300 women beneficiaries (100 from each district)
More than 1400 women from the three project districts have directly benefited from marketing of produce from jhum fields in this reporting period.
As organically grown produce from jhum fields increases, the project has witnessed an increase in the number of women directly benefitting from sale of their jhum produce. More than 1664 women have benefited from marketing of produce from jhum fields in this reporting period. The number of women beneficiaries is expected to increase manifold in the days to come, mainly due to the increased role and participation of women in village land use committees and their action plans. Strategies to develop better marketing linkages are also afoot in 2014 which will also positively impact the livelihood of women traders and farmers.
An additional 480 women have directly benefited through succesful project interventions such as credit facilities, marketing of organic produce, sale of livestock etc. in this reporting period. Almost 95% of the traders are women who sell either from market sheds near their village or travel to markets of nearby towns. The average monthly income of women has doubled from INR 1000 to INR 2000 in the project villages. During this reporting period, the project interventions have built on enhancing the marketing capacity of women as well as on creating better market linkages. The women traders in addition to selling jhum produce from their own fields or even their own village, have also started buying jhum produce from the nearby villages for selling through marketing sheds. This has provided livelihood support to the neighbouring villages through enhanced and expanded market for their produce. While sitting in the marketing sheds during the day, majority of the women also carry out additional activities such weaving baskets, knitting, jewellery making etc. Sale of this handicraft items also contribute to an additional income of atleast INR 200 per month. Several of the women also utilize the time spent in the marketing shed to look after young children.
Enhanced capacity to replicate the projects policy reform and field-level experiences in other parts of Nagaland, as well as in other States of India, where shifting cultivation agro forestry systems are prevalent.
Number of requests from other districts and states to visit project sites and obtain assistance from the Center of Excellence
At least 5-6 requests by Y4
Request for GEF-UNDP assisted SLEM project have been received from 28 villages within the project districts and 3 other districts, namely Peren, Phek and Kiphire. Learnings from the project will be replicated at least to two North east Indian states where jhum cultivation is prevalent.
Three districts in other parts of Nagaland as well as another 35 non-project villages in the project districts have submitted requests for replication of GEF-UNDP assisted SLEM project. The project plans to organise an international conference on sustainable jhum practices to share good practices on jhum cultivation in the year 2014-15.
The project in close coordination with the various government line departments, universities, NGOs, and research institutions has been widely disseminating and demonstrating the SLEM principles in the project districts. The best practices demonstrated at the Centre of Excellence have been availed by many government stakeholders, soil conservation trainees, students, institutions like JICA, farmer beneficiaries, etc. Continuous requests for replication and upscaling of learnings from the UNDP-GEF SLEM project from different villages and districts across the state have been received. The state has approved co-financing to upscale the project activities across the state. During this reporting period, an international consultative workshop on mountain ecosystems with a session emphasizing solely on livelihoods and another on sustainable jhum cultivation practices was organized during this reporting period. This facilitated cross-learning and sharing of best practices from across the globe. The multi stakeholder consultative workshop on developing strategies for mainstreaming sustainable jhum practices into exiting legal and policy frameworks of Nagaland was also organized in the state during this reporting period. This has facilitated enhanced capacity of the line departments to replicate the project policy reform and field level experiences.
Plan for extending project strategy to additional villages and districts with associated resource commitments from government
By Y4, at least 3 more districts have a budgeted plan for replicating
A North East regional workshop on sustainable shifting cultivation practices has been planned for 2013-14 for replication in other states of the region. Within two years of project extension phase, Land Use Plans will be conducted for non-project districts of Nagaland. The Land Use Plan and other good practices from the project will be shared and disseminated to other Agriculture research centers in Nagaland for replication.
The chairperson of the project steering committee had suggested a replication of the project experiences in Tuensang and Kiphire districts with the support of government co-financing.
Government has sanctioned co-financing for replication and scaling up of the project interventions in the state. The funds have been transferred to the project account in July 2015. Project activities will be planned and implemented during the rest of the year.