Malkangiri forms “Committee on Agro-ecology and Agro-biodiversity”

Author: Mr Lal Bijay Singh Deo, WASSAN | April 11, 2020

A “Committee on promotion of agro ecology and agro-biodiversity” is formed to characterization, registration, conservation, branding and marketing of indigenous crops, NTFP, spices, native livestock and fish species for Malkangiri District. Crop-Animal-Fish-Culture linkages shall also be documented.

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District RRA Committee Meeting of Malkangiri District

Government of Odisha has launched a special programme for promotion of integrated farming in tribal areas in 2017. Programme is being implemented by Community based organizations in collaboration with NCDS, WASSAN and local NGOs. SPPIF is focused on 40 rainfed GPs of the district. SPPIF emerged from the experiences of RRA Malkangiri Network.

A district level Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) committee was formed to support and monitor the implementation of the programme. A District Level RRA Committee meeting was held on 13.3.2020 at Conference Hall, Collectorate, and Malkangiri under chairmanship of Mr Manish Aggarwal, IAS Collector & District Magistrate, Malkangiri District.

Mr Kamalakant Barik, Agriculture Expert of SPPIF said that 13 local paddy varieties were promoted under SPPIF in 2019-20. Out of the 13 varieties, 08 varieties were collected from Dr Debal Deb and 05 varieties were collected from Ms Sabarmatee, SAMBHAV. In addition, characterization of local goat variety called Malkangiri goat is also in process with support of Sahajeevan, Gujarat.

Mr Lalbijay Singh Deo, Team leader of SPPIF remarked that Malkangiri goat has good fertility rate and is more resilient to the diseases compared to other goat breeds. Given that fodder availability in Malkangiri forests is less, foraging abilities of Malkangiri Goat makes it very suitable for the region.

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Malkangiri Goat

Mr Manish Aggarwal IAS, Collector & District Magistrate remarked that in addition to Malkangiri Goat, registration of potential poultry, livestock and fish species should also be taken up. He said that livelihood plan for motu cattle should be developed on high priority basis. In addition to promotion of native animals, promotion of turmeric, aromatic rice, tamarind, NTFP products and other indigenous plant species should also be taken up. Promotion of turmeric should be given priority especially in Swabhiman Anchal region of the district. GI tagging and branding should also be done for better price realization.

Mr Ramchandra Pattanayak, CDAO of Malkangiri district also remarked that in many crops such as spices (turmeric), pulses, oilseeds and even millets, tribal farmers usually prefer the indigenous varieties as they are very resilient to climate vagaries. He also said that Malkangiri district has lot of area under upland and also is witnessing huge variation in rainfall and intensity. It is very important to identify suitable varieties and promote them.

Following an intense discussion, it was decided to form a committee on promotion of agro ecology and agro-biodiversity under chairmanship of Collector & District Magistrate. This can look into characterization, registration, conservation, branding and marketing of indigenous crops, NTFP, spices and animal genetic resources as per agro-ecological conditions. Crop-Animal-Fish-Culture linkages shall also be documented.
In order to discourage crop residue burning District RRA Committee also decided that WSHGs shall be strengthened and supported technically to take up crop waste (paddy straw) based livelihood plan. Mushroom cultivation / Paddy straw / Liquid manures / Organic manures thus prepared by WSHGs should be linked to the SPPIF project.

In addition, a pilot inclusion of millets in ST SC Welfare hostels shall also be taken up through WSHGs in the districts.

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