MSSRF Success Stories

Agro-forestry with small orchards

MSSRF demonstrated the site-specific model of small orchards with selected fruit trees among 1000 farmers of Kolli hills. Several indigenous species were used as border cover of the orchard for planting of multi-purpose forestry and economical species to meet the fodder, firewood and timber requirement of tribal families thereby reducing their dependency on forest. Income […]

Alternate Seed systems in Pulses

The yield gap in pulses is about 30 to 40% of its potential yield. The main reason was use of a quality seed as well as the suitable variety. The commercial seed production by the farmers is also very less and seed companies are also not actively engaged in pulses seed production. Department of Agriculture […]

Beneficial microbes to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity

The importance of soil biodiversity in maintaining soil fertility, and its interdependence of soil biological activities with physical and chemical characteristics is gaining attention in the context of sustainable agriculture. MSSRF has been involved in identification of potential strains, exploring its unique properties in soil health management and making them into a final product that […]

Climate information services for effective risk management

Increasing variability in weather and climate is a major production risk for farming, especially among smallholders, in particular women farmers. Advances in forecast development at finer spatial and time scales as well as communication modes offer greater scope to reduce such risks in farming. The foundation works on understanding the gendered traditional knowledge on risk […]

Community Hunger Fighters

The Community Hunger Fighters Programme is an action, reflection education model wherein communities are empowered to move towards nutrition security through continuous capacity building of representatives, selected by the community itself. So far we have trained more than 100 CHFs across the states of Odisha and Maharashtra. The participatory action research methods sought to facilitate […]

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 […]

Farmer collectives for small holders’ competitiveness

MSSRF has been adopting a collectives approach to promote small farmers competitiveness in input and oputput marketing services, technical support, credit and insurance services. Eight FPOs have been promoted across field sites working with 8900 farmers. The FPOs intervention in the market as aggregator helps to reduce the market intermediaries at one or two levels […]

Farmer controlled value chain for millets

MSSRF is promoting millets cultivation in Kolli Hills in Tamil Nadu and Koraput in Odisha since 1997. The activities involve a holistic value chain approach addressing highly interconnected aspects of conservation, cultivation, consumption and marketing of local produce. About 2300 families (about 1500 in Kolli Hills and about 800 families in Jeypore) of tribal farmers […]

Global recognition for the below sea level rice cultivation

MSSRF’s effort since 2007 resulted in FAO recognition of Kuttanad farming systems that practice below sea level rice cultivation in reclaimed wetlands as a globally important agricultural heritage system in 2011. Kuttanad being a deltaic region where most of its land lies at 1.5 to 2.5 m below sea level, and a part of the […]

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 […]

Grameen Gyan Abhiyan for bridging the knowledge divide

Information Village model for Knowledge Empowerment of marginalised sections of the community was demonstrated in early 2000 by adopting modern Information Education and Communication technologies such as internet, mobile telephony, social media, audio and video tools. It adopted hub-spoke model approach later transformed into Village Resource and Knowledge centre reaching about 25000 men and women. […]

M. S. Swaminathan Botanical Garden for saving rare, endemic and threatened plant diversity

MSSRF’s work on Biodiversity in Kerala has resulted in collection and conservation of many endangered plant species and little-known species and varieties of food, nutrition, and health value found in the Western Ghats. These collections came from on-farm to wilderness and forests which were later brought in the form of a Botanic Garden named as […]

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana: Empowering women farmers

MSSRF started work with widows of farmers who had committed suicide in Vidarbha, Maharshtra in 2006 to promote sustainable agriculture as an option to cope the on-going issues in making farming as viable option to secure livelihoods and household nutrition. The work was extended to cover other women farmers in 2007, organise them into women […]

Many new species of vascular plants described

MSSRF team has identified 15 new species of flowering plants from the forests of Wayanad and other parts of Kerala, since the start of its floristic study in 1999 and the study of RET plant species in Wayanad district. The MSSRF’s study in Western Ghats of India proves once again that this global biodiversity hotspot […]

Mass multiplication of beneficial microbes to agriculture as ecoenterprises

Biological inputs play a major role in practicing sustainable agriculture on field. In spite of several products, use of microbial and insect species in pest management and soil fertility processes assumes greater importance in reducing the use of chemical inputs. Timely availability with good quality of such products is a challenge for the small holding […]

Mobile App to save lives and livelihoods of small scale fishers

This is the flagship programme of the Fish for All Centre in capture fisheries and has reached over 50,000 fishers in 2019 across 66 districts in eight states. The Fisher Friend Mobile App (FFMA) is a decision support facility to fishers to receive relevant information in the vernacular language on wave height, wind speed and direction, sea current, […]

On-farm conservation of coastal rice based farming systems

Soil salinity is one of the main problems in coastal agriculture which is now further aggravated by rising sea level as well as the reduction in fresh water flow and rainfall, in draining the salts as natural process.  On-farm management of the saline tolerant varieties such as Kagga in Karnataka under Ghazani lands has been promoted to restore the agro-ecosystems with rice-shrimp farming systems. About […]

Planted over 100,000 seedlings of RET plant species

A project initiated to mark the 80th birthday of Prof. M. S. Swaminathan and to accelerate the MSSRF’s conservation efforts through a targeted number of 80 Rare, Endemic and Threatened (RET) angiosperm plant species of Western Ghats resulted in relocation of 80 RET species, which were said to be restricted to tiny pockets of type […]

Promoting Farming Systems for Nutrition

Keeping the zero hunger challenge in mind, MSSRF has been engaging in advocacy for a Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) approach. FSN is a concept to mainstream the nutrition dimension in the design of the farming system to address prevailing nutrition deficiencies in the population and address the problem of malnutrition. The concept has been […]

Promoting Fish for All, and Fish for Ever

The post tsunami needs and vulnerabilities of the coastal communities of Tamil Nadu paved way for MSSRF to establish an exclusive training centre – Fish for All Centre, for promoting sustainable fishery development with active involvement of fishers and their families in Poompuhar village of coastal Tamil Nadu with the support of the Tata Trusts. […]

Promoting Navara- A ‘2500 years old’ medicinal rice

Navara is a medicinal rice variety known in cultivation only in the state of Kerala. Documents show that it has been under cultivation in Kerala for about 2500 years since the time of Susruta, the Indian pioneer in medicine and surgery. Navara is reported to be with multiple uses- much nutritious, balanced and safe food […]


Draft 16/07/2019 From 30 Years to 2030:  Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Strengthening Science of Climate Resilience A Multi Stakeholder Consultation   August 7 to 9, 2019 | MSSRF, Chennai Provisional Programme DAY 01 (Wednesday, 7th August 2019)   09.00 - 10.00 hrs   Registration     10.00 - 10.30 hrs   Organising Team S. [...]

Restoring Mangroves, Rebuilding Livelihoods

The Integrated Mangrove Restoration Programme along the Coromandel Coast of India has an impact in the restoration of over 3000 ha of degraded mangrove wetlands, and promotion of Joint Mangrove Management (JMM) programme by bringing in ~10000 mangrove user families and covering ~20000 ha of mangrove forests for restoration. The National Mangrove Action Plan has included the […]

Rice Bio-Park: A pathway to use the rice biomass adopting circular economy

MSSRF in partnership with the Department of Agricultural Research, Yenzin, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar has established a Rice Biopark at Nay Pyi Taw. The rice biopark initiative is part of the Indo-Myanmar Friendship Project, funded by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The rice biopark concept was conceived by Prof M S Swaminathan, […]

Therapeutic compounds from lichen cultures

  The study on lichen species and its ecology helped to prove that the use lichen species composition and density as a potential indicator to assess the health of the ecosystem in certain forest types of Western Ghats.  Lichens are a rich resource of pharmaceutically important secondary compounds like polyketides with high pharmaceutical relevance and […]

Transforming public libraries as life-long knowledge learning centres

MSSRF spearheads the repositioning of public libraries across India and South Asia as Lifelong Knowledge Learning Centres by capacitating public librarians as Community Innovative Trailblazers, since 2015. The International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI India and South Asia) a global libraries adapted model was initiated in 8 regions across the globe propelling community development […]

Understanding the Abiotic Stress Tolerance pathways for equipping crop species to overcome stress

The Bioinformatics tools provide insights to know about the physiological and molecular mechanisms in response to stress tolerance in model species and the output helps in engineering similar pathways in susceptible crop plants.  Identification of stress responsive genes, ion transporters and transcription factors using next generation sequencing approaches and bioinformatics analysis are part of the […]

Understanding the molecular and morphological mechanism of saline tolerance in rice

Coastal rice (O. sativa) landraces that have adaptively evolved in different ecological niches offer a unique opportunity to dissect salinity tolerance traits using molecular and cell biological tools for further breeding and the salinity tolerance in a complex multigenic trait. A comparative analysis of saline tolerant wild rice species with cultivated rice provided the basis […]

Women participation in dairy value chain

Small holder women farmers face gender based constraints at micro level (individual, household and community) and meso-level (institutions and services) to move up in the dairy value chain in spite of their work contribution up to 90 percent in production phase of value chain. Their access to productive resources such as technical support to improve […]