A small team of three visited Duh in her farm in Mawtnum village in early May 2015. Read all about Cinnamon that grows in Duh’s field. Other than Cinnamon, Duh also grows organic ginger, bird eye chillies, Pineapples and green pepper. The fruits and vegetables she grows are sold in the local markets of Meghalaya.
These special varieties of organic ginger fetch a better price
When the team visited Duh and her farm, she had just harvested ginger. The season for harvesting ginger is between February and April and so by end April she had gathered everything and had over 150 Kgs of ginger. Duh explained what went into growing organic ginger:
She had to clear the forest and plough the field to get the ground ready. She engaged labor to help in the process.
Then planted pieces ginger roots at the prescribed distance apart. She had to ensure the soil was lose and rich with manure.
She used organic farming methods and did not use any chemical fertilizers.
The crop was ready in 10 months.
Duh grew two special varieties of ginger this season – locally known as “sying khohmoh” and “sying makhir”. ‘Sying’ is ginger in the Khasi dialect. These varieties are used in herbal medicines for cough and so she could get better rates for them – of Rs. 50 a Kg.
Using chicken manure adds extra spice to the chillies. But, Duh stopped using it as the soil became infertile in the next season.
Green Pepper Vines
Fresh green peppers is also grown in farmer Duh's field. The vine wraps itself around tree trunks. These green peppers, when dried, become the much loved black pepper. This season Duh got Rs. 150 per Kg for green peppers and the dried black pepper fetched her Rs. 800 a Kg. Duh uses her farm to also cultivate lilies and roses for her personal consumption!
Farmers like Duh are one among many in Meghalaya who are enterprising, hard-working and love farming. These are the people Zizira wishes to celebrate. We hope to bring you real life accounts of them.