Understanding and validating the traditional rainfall classification and forecasting system with its implication to agriculture in Kalimpong Hill of West Bengal
The farmers in Kalimpong and Darjeeling hills mainly depend on agriculture for their livelihood and lived in difficult geographic terrain. They devised their own weather and rainfall classification system based on local indicators. The present study was conducted in Kalimpong hill over a period of four years from 2015-2019 to understand the traditional wisdom of weather prediction and its implication in hill agriculture. Numerous surveys was conducted at following villages-Ichey Gaon, Bong basti, Algarah, Sangsey Basti, Lava, Loley, Kafer, Tindhurey and Gorubathan. The people classified the rainfall as Sawney Jhari, Bhadurey Jhari, Sohrasaradey jhari, Bonsho jhari, Titey jhari, Sisney Jhari, Naurathey Jhari, Chuia jhari, Faprey jhari, Bagera jhari, Makurey jhari, Kartikey jhari, Maghe jhari, Ashwina based on time of rainfall. The farmers predicted this rainfall based on phenology of local plant, movement of animal or birds etc. It was found that the knowledge of this traditional rainfall helped them to take different farming decision especially in irrigation scheduling for major crops. The traditional knowledge has been reviewed with 50 years climatic data and it was found that in most cases it was in consonance with their traditional belief.
Forecasting; Rainfall pattern; Traditional knowledge
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