Livelihood prospect in relation to domestication of invasive aquaphytes: A case study of north Bihar
Dr. AB Verma
North Bihar is one of the major flood affected region in the state. Being a land of high recurring floods, the region witnesses prolonged water loggings and as such it has been a repository of invasive aquaphytes since four or five decades. North Bihar started witnessing such a colossal water logging for the first time during 1974 within years of raising of these embankments in the post independence dispensation. People are in the habit of adjusting their lifestyle depending upon the exigencies of the situation and have been led to the domestication of some invasive aquaphytes for their livelihood purposes. Many aquatic non-native invasive aquaphytes species are of tremendous importance, so far as their capacity to provide food, fodder, fuels, fence, biofertilizer, piscicuture etc. are concerned. People in the region of north Bihar further adapted the practice of utilizing a number of invasive aquaphytes to their need like Eichhornia crassipes, Sesbania rostrata, Vetivera zizanioides etc. have since emerged as life-line of the region. Majority of water bodies get easily infested with no. of invasive aquaphytes of which hyacinth is the most prominent. The much maligned E. crassipes provide a basis to capture fishery and has the potential to provide row material to the biomass industries. Farmers made it habit grow S. rostrata, fast growing plant in the waterlogged areas in which plantation of food crops was impossible. A part from being potential fence-cum fuel crop, the plant provides green fodder to animal particularly peak flood situations. Its multifaceted use is further visible in the form of biofertilizer. Vetiveria zizanioidies occupies special significance in flood ridden areas in view of its deep penetrating roots which help check the process of soil erosion. Vetiver supports the local sikki art and also associated with rituals and festival. Thus domestication of invasive aquaphytes in this region provides fine example that any negative effects are clearly overshadowed by positive effect in the concept of economical benefit.