A) Mechanical Measures
The most important occupation of the hill farmers is agriculture. They regularly construct terraces for cultivation. These terraces are small but there are a lot of them. As a result, it is possible to control rainwater.
Construction of terraces relies on space and grades of land. The farmers, with their expertise, are capable of preparing fields for crop production.
Farmers generate the slopes of the terraces inwards to organize soil erosion and perk up moisture conservation. Soils are made up of gravels and have a high rate of percolation. Due to rainwater retention enough moisture is made accessible to the crops.
On mild slopes farmers create shoulder bunds to protect their lands from soil erosion and plant vegetation over the bunds, especially grasses for fastening the soil.
Farmers used to carry water to their fields through small irrigation channels referred to as gulas. These go from the source of water along the slopes to the fields. In order to avoid seepage losses farmers use pipes.
Management of drinking water
Streams are the source of water in the Himalaya. Farmers give great regard to these water resources. They use the water for drinking and strive to keep streams clean and unpolluted. They sustain vegetation on the banks to have a clean flow without sediment for human consumption.
In the hills flour mills are not accessible. Farmers have their local technology to run flour mill through water fall. They make use of home-made wooden wheels as turbines to run the mills.
Farmers’ conventional knowledge of agriculture involves tested technologies in the field. They utilize a particular type of traditional plough. Other forms of ‘improved’ ploughs do not work in the hills as the soil is made up of gravels and not deep.
Farmers plough their field straight rather than in circles and open parallel furrows for rainwater harvesting and retaining moisture.
Farmers of hill regions have a preference for mixed cropping for reducing the risks under rainfed conditions and generating ground cover for scrutinizing runoff and soil loss. They plant legumes with maize and ginger or turmeric with maize.
Manure And Manuring
In relation to the soil’s condition and texture the farmers of the hill region use farmyard manure in the fields prior to sowing. In lowland areas, they as well do green manuring. Although there is increase in the use of artificial manure- fertilisers , farmers retain their belief in traditional methods.
C) Vegetative Measures For Natural Resources Management
Hill farmers plant trees of economic value and suitable to their needs. In order to conserve soil and water they plant grasses for ground cover like Eulaliopsis binnata, Chrysopogun fulvus and agave sps.
Shrubs such as Ipomea icarnea, Arando donex, Dendrocalamus strictus, napier grass, Vitex negundu, Morus alba and bagrera are planted, and in wild form are bhang, lantana, sweet neem, and so on.
There is enormous potential to grow horticulture in the hill ranges due to the undulating topography and climatic conditions.
Farmers are very much aware of the possibility of their lands, but as a result of to poor economic situations and infrastructure it is not probable for them to go ahead with unusual and added profitable land use.