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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.56 (4) (July - Aug, 2015) (629-636)

TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL FARMERS ON AGROBIODIVERSITY (LANDRACES) IN VISAKHAPATNAM DISTRICT OF ANDHRA PRADESH

G Swathi
Research Scholar, Agricultural College, Bapatla, ANGRAU

R Vasantha
Associate Professor, College of Agriculture, Rajendranagar, ANGRAU, Hyderabad

S Kiran
Consultant, WASSAN, Hyderabad

Abstract

The human race has been dependent on plants for both material and financial needs for millions of years. This has enabled them to evolve a unique system of knowledge on the utilization and conservation of plant genetic resources. Tribals rich traditional knowledge is associated with biodiversity. This knowledge has been acquired over years, treasured and are endowed with and passed on by the local communities and the tribals. Farmers with their age old experience in farming developed a comprehensive knowledge on nutrient content and medicinal properties of various plants. Cereals, small millets, pulses, oilseeds & many more forest plants form important component of food source for the tribal people of North coastal zone of Andhra Pradesh. This knowledge was documented from older generation who could provide age old information about the landraces and traditional life styles which are under threat. This paper briefly describes the extent of knowledge possessed by tribal respondents on Agrobiodiversity in terms of crops and landraces cultivated in selected mandals of Visakhapatnam district. Results indicated low knowledge on landrace of Jowar whereas medium knowledge in case of oilseeds and millets and high knowledge in cereals, pulses and vegetables. This calls for a immediate attention from various stake holders for Agrobiodiversity conservation.

Introduction

India has been recognized as one of the world’s top 12 mega diversity nations. Among the 18 hot spots in the world, two are found in India. These are the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats. It is an established fact that the tribal agriculture that is predominantly based on cultivation of landraces is mostly subsistence in nature and the tribal economy is mainly based on agriculture and minor forest produce. The cultural diversity in the Indian society reflects close relationship between the existence of human life and nature. Conservation of environment, natural resources and biological diversity is deeply rooted in the Indian traditions and culture. India has the largest tribal population in the world, about 68.34 millions...

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