ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BIHAR- A Labourer Goes to Court

September 11, 1976 fruit, while the average cost of producing one tonne of processed fruits in this region is nearly 10 per cent higher than that in the country as a whole". The paper ruled out terracing as an effective answer to the problem of shifting cultivation. Without soil survey, terracing would he unwise because of its heavy cost and risk of landslides. Moreover, not even one per cent of the territory of the NE region had been properly surveyed till the middle of 1972. Only slopes with a width of 15-20 feet could be used for bench-terraced cultivation. According to Misra, it was doubtful whether such a large land mass for bench-terraced cultivation was available in the region to substitute completely the 4,57,000 hectares under .shifting cultivation. And even if everything went well, it was douhtful whether the tribal producers would be be- nefited by the tremendous growth of cash crops. Already the NE Hill region had been producing cash crops for a long time without accruing to itself any benefit. According to Misra, the idea that Jhuming or shifting cultivation yielded low output was a myth. In 1971-72, the yield from Tripura Jhum cultivation and the all-India average was, respectively, 1151 kg and 1145 kg per hectare. "It is the cash nexus with the rest of the [Indian] economy entered by them through the production of cash crops and borrowing of money that tends to impoverish them.'' But this observation remained unelaborated either in quantitative or in qualitative terms.

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