Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 408

Full Length Research Paper

Energy flow management to enhance cost-effective crop production in Hilly Tribal Villages - Southern Odisha, India

B. K. Nayak
  • B. K. Nayak
  • Department of Botany, Berhampur University, Berhampur, Odisha, India.
  • Google Scholar
M. K. Mishra
  • M. K. Mishra
  • Department of Botany, Berhampur University, Berhampur, Odisha, India.
  • Google Scholar
V. P. Upadhyay
  • V. P. Upadhyay
  • B1/303 NJBM Society, Maitri Vihar, Bhubaneswar-751023, India.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 03 October 2023
  •  Published: 31 October 2023


The objective of this study is to assess the energy budget of crop production in the Niyamgiri hill agro-ecosystems, exploring the interdependency between agricultural systems and natural forest ecosystems. The cultivated area is categorized based on different cropping patterns, with four prevalent agriculture practices in the villages: (i) shifting cultivation (Podu) in high hill areas, (ii) mid-hill orchards below the Podu area, (iii) home gardens adjacent to habitations, and (iv) valley cultivation near stream beds. Distinct differences in energy input and output values were observed among the various cultivation types and villages in the Niyamgiri hill ecosystem. Hill agriculture relies significantly on the surrounding forest ecosystem and serves as a major energy consumer. The energy dynamics data reveal that biomass from the forest plays a crucial role in the material flow of the village ecosystem. This is evident through its contribution to minor forest products, firewood, small timber (poles) and bamboo. These village ecosystems rely entirely on biomass for fuel and fodder, highlighting their dependency on the nearby forest. Examining import and export figures for various food items indicates that tribal village ecosystems are open and partially independent. Achieving sustainable production requires an interdisciplinary approach, with collaboration between the agriculture, horticulture, and forest departments. Enhancing animal resource output has the potential to improve socio-economic productivity. Furthermore, value addition to agriculture and horticulture products in villages can boost the local economy and livelihoods, reducing dependency on natural resources in the region.


Key words: Agroecosystem, energetics, horticulture, natural resources, forests, Dongaria, tribal, villages.