Unesco Green Citizens

Securing Community Livelihood and Nutrition

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Project begin: 20/05/2005

Citizens from 60 villages in the west Indian state of Maharashtra have joined forces to preserve indigenous crops, biodiversity and local bio-resources.

Leading organisation: BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pune
The country where the team is based: India
Theme: Biodiversity
Sub-themes: Natural resource management
Tag: #Women
Selection: 2020/2021
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The Maharashtra region of India was suffering from depleted indigenous crops, soil erosion and the disappearance of local plant species, leading to poverty and malnutrition. Farmers were slowly gradually losing much of their traditional know-how.

Initiated by the BAIF Development Research Foundation, based in Pune, this collaborative project focuses on sharing knowledge, information and traditional practices to promote biodiversity.

Flourishing community action

With the support and involvement of local citizens, the project has helped improve subsistence methods, food security and nutrition. How? A wide array of initiatives has been implemented from promoting inexpensive sustainable farming methods to establishing nutritional gardens, carrying out an edible wild plant inventory and creating community seed banks. Communities developed the Farming Monk brand to sell excess crops.

The project also focuses on documenting and sharing knowledge, whether through seed committees, exhibitions, wild food recipe competitions, training courses or school interventions.

8,538 families in the tribal communities of Warli & Kokana, Pawara, Madiya, Mahadeo Koli already enjoy greater food security and improved nutrition. 3,250 students have gained intergenerational knowledge about agrobiodiversity.

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