Sikkim Himalayan-agriculture: Improving and scaling up of the traditionally managed agricultural systems of global significance (2009)

Please fill the following information to request the publication in hardcopy. We will get in touch with you shortly.

* are required.

Sikkim Himalaya is a part of globally significant biodiversity hot spots of the world within the greater quadri-national junction of Kanchenjunga landscape in the eastern part of Himalayas. The Sikkim Himalayan-Agriculture system is recently proposed for recognition under the FAO Globally Important Agriculture Heritage System programme (GIAHS). The region is an assemblage of sacred landscapes called Demazong (the valley of rice) or the Shangrila (the hidden paradise on earth . This cultural-landscape is endowed with rich agrobiodiversity adapted and managed through traditional ecological knowledge of the culturally diverse ethnic communities. It comprises of trans-Himalayan agro-pastoral system of the Dokpas in the alpine plateaus, traditional agroforestry such as alder-cardamom and farm-based systems in the temperate zones, and terraced/valley rice systems in the lower warm temperate to sub-tropical agroclimatic zones. It is paradoxical that culturally and biologically diverse land use systems and landscapes are marginalised. The development opportunities are enormous but persistent problems of poverty, access to markets, economic and ecological fragility are prevalent.

Sikkim Himalayan-Agriculture is an adaptive management system that offers economically valuable diversity of crop varieties and multipurpose plant species in the vertically differentiated agro-ecological zones. The diverse indigenous communities house Traditional Ecological Knowledge in adapting, monitoring and responding to ecosystem resilience and services. The authors discuss the role of traditional agriculture in conservation of biodiversity and their assessment on the diversity of ecosystem management from sub-tropical to alpine agroclimatic ranges. They also analyze the social adaptations and knowledge-base on agroecosystems and role of traditional institutions to authenticate GIAHS proposal to envisage wider recognition in local, national, regional and at global level. They conclude that monitoring of traditional agriculture and science based policy need to be formulated in a participatory manner to mitigate the vulnerabilities and new challenges due to climate change. Recognition of the Sikkim Himalayan-Agriculture would help strengthen the conservation efforts and sustainability of the environment health and livelihood of the marginal communities to ensure sustainable development.
Year: 2009
Language: English
In: Resources Science, Vol.31, No.1 pp 21-30, January 2009,



 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-05-10