Globally important tribal agricultural heritage site

The agro-ecosystem of the Jeypore region of Odisha is famous for its agro-biodiversity and its cultural traditions. The 52 tribal groups including Bhumia, Paroja, Khond, Bhatada, Bonda are the dominant communities in this region. The traditional knowledge of the people on plant genetic resources including medicinal plants (nearly 1200 species) and wild food species (more than 50 species of tubers, corms, fruits, vegetables etc) is intrinsically linked to their cultural values vis-à-vis conservation. Rice is a primary crop in different landscapes followed by millets and grain legumes. The Jeypore region is considered as the secondary centre of origin of Indica rice type, and so far, 1800 landrace collections were recorded in 1960’s and 350 in 1990s. MSSRF’s interventions resulted in the on-farm conservation of 30 landraces with the ex-situ conservation of 107 landraces adopting integrated on-farm conservation strategies. The key strategies are participatory varietal selection for purification, agronomic practices to improve productivity, strengthening the seed systems and developing niche markets through farmer collectives.  The recognition of this valuable landscape by FAO as GIAHS provides opportunities to revive and restore the conservation ethos and values of the local community for sustainable development.
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