WDTDAC showcase the crop diversity of Western Ghats


Members of the Wayanad District Tribal Development Action Council (WDTDAC) are elated as they have got a rare opportunity to showcase the crop diversity of the Western Ghats at the ongoing session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture in Delhi.

WDTDAC is a grassroots organisation under the aegis of the Community Agro-biodiversity Centre (CABC) of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) here to foster conservation efforts of tribal communities by ensuring their livelihoods.

In recognition of their efforts in agro-biodiversity conservation, WDTDAC received the prestigious Plant Genome Saviour Community Award in 2011 for the tireless efforts of Kurichiya and Mullukuruma tribal communities to conserve the traditional rice varieties of Wayanad.

Later, the council instituted the Regional Adivasi Genome Savior Award using the interest from the cash prize. The council has awarded 15 tribal on-farm conservators so far, thereby ensuring the conservation of various plant and animal genetic resources related to agriculture in the region.

The council also participated in the preliminary interaction on ‘Plant Genome Resources of India’ in August prior to the event.

“We are very proud to attend the event, and it is a great honour to our group,” A. Devaki, president of WDTDAC, told The Hindu. “We consider this as a recognition for our efforts to conserve traditional crop varieties, and it encourages us to do more,” she added.

MSSRF considers the participation of the council in the programme as a great opportunity since the treaty seeks solutions to achieve food and nutritional security as well as climate resilient agriculture, V. Shakeela, director of the foundation, said.

As many as 22 traditional rice varieties of Wayanad, including aromatic, drought tolerant and flood tolerant varieties, apart from 40 varieties of pulses and legumes, 11 varieties of spices and 10 varieties of roots and tubers from the region are being exhibited.

The programme will conclude on Saturday.



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