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A couple from Pune, in their mid 50s - one an accomplished agricultural scientist with over 30 years of field experience and his wife, a committed educationist - have been living in Aben, an extremely remote village, for almost 2 and half year in Manipur’s most backward district, Tamenglong, studying the impact of Jhum cultivation on the lives of the Zeme tribe, who inhabit the village to counter the challenges that the hill people of region are facing by offering an viable alternative cultivation, a  climate-change smart sustainable method of agriculture.

 Sloping Agriculture Land Technology or Small Agro-Livestock Land Technology or SALT in short, is what the couple is successfully introducing in the village with encouraging results, leading to increasing the productivity of the hill farmers and enhancing their income by introducing integrated system of farming.

 Aben is tucked so far away, untouched by modern civilization and villagers rely primarily on shifting or jhum cultivation and the forest for their sustenance. With the region receiving eight months of rain in a year and given the pathetic conditions of the inter-village roads, 4×4 vehicle or foot is the only means of communication to Aben during monsoon.

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In majority of cultures of Northeastern states of India, indigenous women traditionally manage trade and commerce. Manipur, the Indian border State boasts of having one of the largest networks of women’s market not only in India but in the whole of Asia.

Markets are called Keithel in Manipur and exhibit a sophisticated system of trade. The term market seems inadequate to describe what a Keithel really is and the role it plays in the local economy, culture and society. Kei translates as storehouse while thel means display, loosely translating into display of store for exchange of goods either through barter or money.

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