Koraput Traditional Agricultural System

Members of the Porja tribe a decade ago were struggling to feed their family. But then they were introduced to a nature friendly farming system which not only changed their condition but also got their tribe UN recognition.

Members of the Porja tribe were felicitated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the 99th Indian Science Congress for practising the ‘Koraput Traditional Agricultural System‘. The system practised by the community has been chosen by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) under its ‘Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Sites programme’.

It all started after the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation – run by eminent agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan, introduced them to organic farming. Earlier, they were using a large amount of chemical fertiliser for farming. But then they shifted to organic methods. They used cow dung for manure. Now almost eight-nine villages are involved in the climate-friendly agriculture system. For preventing crops from getting infected, they prepare insecticides in a traditional manner using Neem leaves and other plants found in the forests that have medicinal qualities.

The tribe produces several varieties of rice, wheat and cumin seeds. This method of farming has almost quadrupled the annual yield in the last few years, while profits have risen several times.

More than 15,000 delegates, including scientists and students participating in the Jan 3-7, 2012 Indian Science Congress being held at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT University). The theme of the conference is ‘Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation – Role of Women’.

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