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Conserving Biodiversity to Ensure Food Security: An NGO Experience

Some Key Lessons Learned in the Process
  • Enormous potential and strength of women self help groups could be effectively used for conservation, sustainable use and livelihood promotion activities. The efforts remind us of the importance of identification and utilization of right channels for communication and intervention.
  • Creating market demand/economic value or brand value is the best strategy to prompt the farmers to conserve and cultivate the local varieties. Campaigning by specifying the characters and qualities of local varieties will help in creating brand value.
  • Though the farmers are aware of the importance of local and farmer developed varieties, sufficient planting materials are not available and making this planting material available is the first step for any conservation effort. The entrepreneurship potential in this area is yet to be tapped.
  • Cultivation of same crop by a group of women in a particular area has several advantages. They opined that since several people are cultivating in a comparatively larger area, the attacks by rats and other rodents are considerably low. This is also good since it enables them to share their knowledge and experiences. Cultivation in groups also helps them in marketing.

About Peermade Development Society 

Peermade Development Society (PDS) was established in the year 1980 as a non-governmental organization under Charitable Society’s Act of 1955. The society is resolved to cater to the development needs of tribals, marginal farmers, and women & children of the area by undertaking various developmental activities. Natural resource management, rural technology promotion and rural health are the major areas of intervention. 

The developmental activities include integrated tribal development, agriculture development, community health, human resource development, women development, micro enterprise development, natural resource management, watershed development programmes, organic farming, biotechnology, biological pest management, rural technology promotion, export of organic products, etc. For more information, visit www.pdspeermade.com.

About the Author

T. J. James is an anthropologist by training and has been working in the field of indigenous knowledge for the past 14 years. Presently, he is associated with Peermade Development Society as advisor and also with National Innovation Foundation as consultant. He has visualized, developed, implemented and evaluated several projects related to farmers’ innovations, even won a National Award from National Innovation Foundation, and has published several articles in internationally reputed journals.