Conserving wild Food for nutrition

MSSRF’s study on wild edible species and marginal fruits and vegetables during 2000-2010 showed Wayanad district exists with about 100 edible roots, tubers and rhizomes, 20 varieties of legumes, 16 citrus cultivars, 343 wild food/wild relatives of crop plant species, 150 vegetable varieties and about 14 Musa cultivars. Such food baskets with diverse foods had been served as a ‘safety net’ ensuring the food and nutritional security of the tribal families. However, the recent studies over there has shown widespread prevalence of malnutrition among pre-school children, pregnant mother and lactating women among tribal communities like Paniya and kattunaikka with changing dietary practices. To address this issue, MSSRF has established an ex-situ garden with about 52 varieties that belongs to species such as Dioscorea, Colocasia, Amorphophallus, and Xanthosoma at the Community Agro-biodiversity Centre in Wayanad along with 23 Community Conservation Units at different locations of Malabar region. By taking few such species, around 400 nutritional gardens have been promoted to increase the household dietary diversity.
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