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Food and Agriculture

Tribal Farmers Fall Back on Ancient Wisdom

KORAPUT, India, Jan 29 2013 (IPS) - While tens of thousands of Indian farmers succumb to the pressures of debt, hunger and poverty by taking their own lives, members of the Bhumia tribe are simply falling back on a 3,000-year-old agricultural system to ensure a steady supply of healthy food.

Located in the eastern state of Odisha’s Koraput province, the tribe utilises sustainable farming practices to counter the impacts of deforestation and climate change.

Using local seeds from the Eastern Ghats, a discontinuous mountain range that runs parallel to the Bay of Bengal along India’s eastern coast at an average of 900 metres above sea level, farmers here plant “mixed” crops, barter their produce at the local market and save their traditional seeds.

Last year, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) accorded the status of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) to the traditional agricultural system in the Koraput region. The status grants farmers the support they need to continue to nurture and adapt their ancient practices.

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  • alanis reech

    Thanks for the amazing pictures!

  • activist09

    Now only ancient wisdom can save humanity and the world in crisis.
    Watched an awesome film on Tribal ancient wisdom

    The story of how watershed works in a dry
    land area have created a possibility for a new livelihood option for the
    poor local tribal community. The film
    narrates the story of how the initial skepticism over the viability of
    dairying in the minds of the people was overcome, leading to a
    full-fledged livelihood option for tribal communities of the area.

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