Safeguarding the agrobiodiversity heritage of Eastern Ghats: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, May 08, 2017: Both the Western and Eastern Ghats are rich in agrobiodiversity. The Western Ghats agrobiodiversity heritage has received detailed scientific attention and documentation. The same is not true about Eastern Ghats. The Trustees of @MSSRF at their meeting held on May 05, 2017 therefore decided that steps may be taken to develop the MSSRF Centre at Jeypore (now known as Biju Patnaik Medicinal Plant Research and Training Centre) into an Eastern Ghats Agrobiodiversity Research and Training Centre in collaboration with the Central University of Koraput. The Centre could serve as an advance centre of excellence of University imparting education at the graduate and the post-graduate levels. This will help to fill an important void in the study and documentation of the agrobiodiversity heritage of Eastern Ghats. The work already done by MSSRF scientists has lead to Koraput being declared by FAO as a Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Site (GIAHS). Also the participatory breeding work done with tribal families has lead to the development of the rice variety Kalinga Kalajeera. This variety has been described by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha as Odisha Basmati.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.