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Government of Odisha for state level committee on Agroecology and Agrobiodiversity for scaling up Agrobiodiversity Initiatives

By Dinesh Balam | WASSAN | September 9, 2021

Government of Odisha launched a Special Programme for Promotion of Integrated Farming (SPPIF) in tribal in 2017 based on experiences of comprehensive pilot undertaken by RRA Network in Malkangiri. Under SPPIF, a district level committee on agroecology and agrobiodiversity was formed in May 2020. After this, a community led centre for excellence on agroecology and agrobiodiversity was proposed in Chitrakonda block of Malkangiri district. Under this centre, 103 millet landraces and 23 pulse landraces are being conserved. In addition, conservation, and promotion of native livestock breeds such as Malkangiri goat and others is also being taken up.

Based on the positive feedback, a similar state level committee on agroecology and agrobiodiversity has been formed by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Government of Odisha. A virtual state level meeting on agroecology and agrobiodiversity in the Odisha was held at under chairmanship of Sri. R K Sharma IAS, Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) cum ACS, Government of Odisha (GoO). Representatives from Odisha Biodiversity Board (OBB), Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment (DA&FE), Fisheries & Animal Resources Development Department(FA&RD Dept),  Directorate of Agriculture & Food Production (DA&FP), Directorate of Soil & Water Conservation & Watershed Development (DSWC&WD), Directorate of Horticulture (DoH), Directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services (DAH&VS), Directorate of Fisheries (DoF), ICAR, OUAT, FAO, MSSRF, NCDS, WASSAN and others attended the meeting.

After detailed discussion following decisions were taken under the chairmanship of APC cum ACS

[1] Training programme shall be conducted for the officials of DA&FE and FARD Department on the regulatory framework of biodiversity acts and statutes.

[2] Mapping of agro-biodiversity may be taken up in mission mode in convergence with line departments. Master subsets may be created for special areas with high prevalence of biodiversity.

[3] A mapping of botanical, socio-ecological and bio cultural aspects of agro biodiversity may be taken up in SPPIF Malkangiri on pilot basis.

[4] Recognition of custodian farmers conserving agro biodiversity shall be initiated. Incentives shall also be provided for the custodian farmers.

[5] Action plan for promotion of biodiversity blocks through RKVY/State Plan Schemes may be developed. Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) for Seed system for landraces should be developed on the lines of OMM. A pilot on participatory plant breeding may also be taken up. Proposal may be submitted on the same.

[6] Research framework for evaluating performance of landraces in intercropping/polycropping/integrated farming/non chemical approaches may be developed.

[7] Scientific validation and Nutritional profiling of landraces should be taken up. Promotion of consumer collectives for creating awareness in urban areas should be taken up. A plan for marketing of these landraces should be developed.

[8] A roadmap for safeguarding heritage status of Koraput should be prepared.

[9] Registration of native breeds with focus on livelihood development through breeder societies shall be taken up on mission mode.  

[10] A MoA on collaboration with UN-FAO on centre of excellence on agroecology and agro biodiversity and other agro biodiversity initiatives may be developed.

[11] Agriculture interventions in the Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri may be promoted only through Organic/Natural farming methods. Proposal for biodiversity centric livelihood plan may be prepared.

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