FROM A REPORTER
SHILLONG, Jan 23: A renowned traditiol knowledge holder of Laitsohpliah village in East Khasi Hills (EKH) Meghalaya recognised by North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) Slibon Nongrum passed away at the age of 83 on January 21.
Nongrum had been able to alleviate her family and herself out of poverty and be able to carve out from the plateaus of Laitsohpliah hit by water scarcity problems.
She has since been regarded as the ‘the Lady with the Magical Touch’ because of her significant contributions to her skills and practices in creating in improving to the food and agricultural production and diversity in Laitsohpliah.
Slibon was able to tackle and emerge from the problems of trying to conserve the resources for food and agriculture at her home in her village. It was through the traditiol knowledge long established and passed down from her mother, she was first-hand able to alleviate and ensure a valuable landscape of feature rich filled with plant varieties.
During the visit of a renowned Agro ecologist Dr Francisco J Rosado May from Mexico during last January 2016. He was captivated with how well she had maged her home garden and saw that she was able to maintain and find solutions to maintain the moisture of the earth even during the dry winter months of Meghalaya which added certain woes to water scarcity in the village.
It is these contributions she was able to make within her community while spending her time in the fields.
She has been able to pass down her legacy to the next generation within her family. Bakmenlang Nongrum one of the 16 grandchildren of Kong Slibon, grew up under her fostering care and considered her vegetable garden as his adventure playground. She had shared with him the family secrets on the importance of traditiol farming and seed keeping. The members of her village and various other surrounding villages near Laitsohpliah had noticed that the seeds she plants will always sprout to grow healthy and productive; they would approach her for her assistance and bring the seeds they wanted to plant before they are to be sown in their farms.