Aji-ngyii: The age-old integrated system of paddy and fish culture of the Apatanis

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Travelling through the Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh, team WPN documents one of the highly evolved sustainable agro-ecosystems around the world.

Ripened indigenous landrace of rice in Ziro valley

Nestled within the Lower Subansiri district, Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh is home to the Apatanis, a very prominent ethnic tribe in the Eastern Himalayas for myriad reasons. The green hills clad with pine and bamboo stretch out as far as the eye can see. The golden yellow rice fields with specks of green add vivid colours to this remarkable landscape.

This serene upland system is perched at an elevation of 1,572 meters from the sea level. The average rainfall of the area is around 2005 mm, 75 percent of which falls between the months of May and September. The valley has about 48.38% land under paddy-cum-fish cultivation, 32.64% under clan forest, 16.41% bamboo forest and 2.75% under home garden, signifying an ecological equilibrium.

Worshippers of the sun and moon (Donyi-Polo religion), the Apatanis are a very