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Title: Indigenous knowledge and sustainable agricultural resources management under rainfed agro-ecosystem
Authors: Singh, Ranjay K
Sureja, Amish K
Keywords: Indigenous knowledge;Natural resources conservation;Indigenous varieties;Tribal farmers;Sustainability
Issue Date: Oct-2008
Publisher: CSIR
IPC Code: Int. Cl. ⁸ : A01
Abstract: The paper demonstrates the tribal farmers’ wisdom, perception and their criteria developed for the agricultural resources conservation and survival under the risk prone agro-ecosystem of Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh. The investigation was carried out in seven villages dominated by Gond, Baiga and Pradhan tribes. Conventional and participatory methods were applied to record the data. The result indicates that, despite the increasing commercialization of agriculture, the great majority of the farmers in the area are peasants, or small-scale producers. After centuries of cultural and biological evolution, traditional farmers have developed and inherited complex farming systems, adapted to the risk prone situations. These have helped them to conserve and sustainably manage harsh environments and meet their subsistence need without depending on costly energy based inputs. Agro-ecological and ethno-ecological evidence in vogue among the tribal community increasingly indicates that these systems are productive, sustainable, ecologically sound, and tuned to the social, economic, and cultural features of the local tribe. Some of the cultural adaptations that farmers have developed in the area include: domestication and conservation of diversity of plants and maintenance of a wide genetic resource base. Farmers are competent to make vertical agricultural development through the series of traditional resource conserving practices, variety conservation, weed, pest, nutrient, and water management practices to deal with socio-environmental changes. Scientists involved in agricultural research and development must try to learn, systematize and incorporate the farmers’ practices, before this wealth of practical knowledge is lost forever, given that most traditional farming systems are rapidly disappearing in the face of major social, economic and political changes occurring in developing societies.
Page(s): 642-654
ISSN: 0972-5938
Appears in Collections:IJTK Vol.07(4) [October 2008]

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