Aji Gnui Assonii

Do you ever wonder how the tribes in the cold, high-altitude mountain ranges of India (and beyond) are able to exist and maintain good health? Their secret is called, “Aji gnui assonii.” Below is a brief article from Research Gate on their farming practices:

“Apatani, a hill tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, India, has been practising rice fish culture traditionally for many decades. Their practice, locally termed aji ngui assonii, is free from the use of agro-chemicals and additional input of supplementary feed for fish. They basically follow the traditional agronomic practices for rice even in rice-fish combination pertaining to field preparation and maintenance. Field preparation starts in April, occasionally continues up to late May, and rice seedlings are planted in May-June. The strains of common carp are stocked at fry stage (3–5 cm), after just ten days of planting the rice and reared in the field for about 4 months in total. Sometimes they harvest fish partially from the field after an interval of 1.5 months. With multiple harvesting, only 200–300 kg ha-' offish are produced in each harvest whereas with final harvesting the production rate is 500 kg ha-'. The dykes of rice fields are utilized for growing millet in June and are harvested during August-September. The system of such integrated farming is an organic practice, as well as sustainable in the sense that it is based solely on available natural resources in the ecosystem and also preserves the agro-biodiversity, enhancing multidimensional support to the tribal livelihood.”

Sometimes when we think we are doing it right, because we are blind to the fact other people are able to do it better, we don’t allow ourselves to progress. For that, I’m thinking someone should come out with a ground-breaking press release on how simple and great their method is- it kicks most agricultural practices out of the park.