Vrikshayurveda in Tribal and Traditional Agriculture

Agriculture practiced by tribals and famers in traditional way is a fabulous exhibition of Vrikshayurvedic way of agro-ecosystem management promoting low cost sustainable development in ecosystem through optimal use of natural resources. This farming style protects and conserves ecological systems and at the same time improves economic efficiency of the farming community. For this purpose, they adopted indigenous methods based on indigenous traditional knowledge acquired by the present generation from the earlier generation by adopting changes to practice it in today’s scenario. For example, use of shampoo as emulsifier replacing soap berry in preparation of oil based pesticides. And this is very well highlighted in research of various scholars from the length and breadth of the country. A few topics which predominantly come to the light through their study of indigenous traditional knowledge pertaining to agriculture can be listed as below…

  1. Soil water conservation techniques such as vegetation barrier.
  2. Crop residue mulching.
  3. Land preparation such as summer ploughing followed by leaf litter mulching.
  4. Crop diversity and rotation.
  5. Growing trees on the field bunds.
  6. Crops and trees for green manuring.
  7. Animal penning for manure.
  8. Water management through pond, well, moisture retention techniques.
  9. Soil selection for specific crops using indicators such as colour, texture, topography, by test of moisture retention capacity, etc.
  10. Pest control measures using plant, animal products with or without using material like ash, red earth, kerosene, etc.
  11. Crop specific pest control measures.
  12. Nursery technique for seedlings of especially rice, vegetables and trees, etc.
  13. Plant indicators for rainfall predictions.
  14. Plant indicators for deciding agricultural seasons.
  15. Interculture
  16. Farmyard and other manures for providing nutrients to soil.
  17. Tools and implements.
  18. Seed treatment before sowing and for storage.
  19. Harvesting and storage.
  20. Animal rearing for various reasons.

As mentioned earlier, this information is not documented like that of Vrikshayurveda but the gist of it shows affinity to the principle of Vrikshayurveda that is, to provide happy, healthy and peaceful life to man and plants without disturbing nature’s harmony. These methods are eco friendly, cost effective and use human knowledge to conserve the environment using local inputs. These inputs have proved to be useful for subsistence of non urban population in the past and present for their economic growth because the produce of such framing practices, popularly known as ‘natural or organic farming’; fetch more prices from urban population.

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