Saturday, 29 October 2011

Organic Pumpkin of Jampui Hill

Organic pumpkin as I say and intended to elaborate about is not about certified or labeled organic product by any certifying agency. 
 But, it may not be out of place to call the pumpkin produced from Jhum field of Jampui hill as organic pumpkin due to the fact that all the Jhum produce including the very subject of Pumpkins are produced without application of any type of chemical substances either in the form of nutrient supplements or pesticides.
In my earlier post, I tried to indicate the trend and tendency of the people towards the organic products so, it is rightly appropriate to take a deep dive in the subject. 
 In the time of movement for organic product, pumpkin produced from the Jhum without application of any chemical has got good significance. In Tripura, organic pumpkin is produced out of Jhum cultivation in Jampui hill, Sakhan Hill and Atharamura Hill range.
 Of this, pumpkin produced from Jampui Hill range has unique demands and maximum production of Jhum pumpkin has been reported from the Jampui hill range.

Organic pumpkin production

In Tripura, organic pumpkin is produced in the sloppy hills of Jampui Hill, Sakhan Hill and Atharamura Hill range. People of Jampui hill, Sakhan and Atharamura Hill ranges produced this organic pumpkin through the traditional Jhum cultivation.
 During Jhuming season, after burning of slash and clearing of Jhum field, Pumpkin seeds are sown along with the other Jhum crops during the month of May and June.  

Production method and pest control measures

Like any other crops, natural enemies either in commercially cultivated or Jhum cultivated pumpkin do have natural enemies like flies or any hymenopterans insect which inflicts damage on the crop. 
But in no circumstances chemical is used for controlling this insect pest except some physical control methods by the cultivators.
When natural enemies of pumpkin are observed it is controlled by the physical controlled methods and also by applying ash etc.
 But in no circumstances chemical pesticides and insecticides are applied for controlling these pumpkin pests. Thus the produced is completely free from any traces of chemical residues and could be considered as organic pumpkin.
In addition, no chemical fertilizers are applied for growing of pumpkin; it is grown completely under the care of the nature that is completely depending on the naturally occurring soil nutrients.

Quality of organic pumpkin

Organic pumpkin has good demands in the state as well as in the adjoining state of Tripura. It is due to its texture, keeping quality, taste that attracts the people but for me, first and foremost is; it is produced without application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
 Pumpkins produced in the plain land which are cultivated commercially although are better yielding but as we go by taste and texture it is poorer than the Jhum produced organic pumpkin. Jhum pumpkin is exclusively produced in the Jhum field that is in the high land.
Organic pumpkin has good demands in the state as well as other state due to its intrinsic quality as I say it is very sweet and good texture, good cooking quality.
 In season, it fetches very good price compare to commercially cultivated pumpkins. Moreover, Jhum pumpkins especially, if it is with the tag of free from any chemical fertilizers and pesticides and also the tag of Jampui Hill then there is huge demands by the people.

Prospect of organic pumpkin

It is very difficult to predict the yield of Jhum pumpkin; it is due to the fact that it is completely grown under the care of the nature.
 But normally what happen is when selection of Jhum field is done more carefully that is to say that when fallow land or to say that in last 10 years no Jhuming had been done in the intended plot of land then there happens to be good yield thereby good profit.
But, now-a-days, due to shrinking of suitable Jhum land, it is not possible to find a suitable land to grow good pumpkin crops. In future it may not thrive also.
 Now a day only very few rely on Jhum cultivation, it is due to lack of suitable Jhum land and also switching over to the other plantation crops that Jhum cultivation in the state is declining. Another aspect is awareness that Jhum cultivation negatively impacts the natural vegetation that has played certain roles in declining of Jhum cultivation.
But in Jampui hills since the people are living in the top of the Jampui hills range, they have no option but to rely on Jhum for food grain and other requirements. So in Jampui hills, Jhum is still prominent and may continue until such time when alternatives methods are found.
My point in the post is that since there is certain interest, trends and demands for organic products then why should not we take the stock of this opportunity and go selectively in pursuing the Organic farming. Let it start with Organic pumpkin of Jampui hill.

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