In connection with the 9th Session of the Governing Body of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) held from 19-24 September at New Delhi, Wayanad Tribal Development Action Council (WDTDAC) got an opportunity to participate and exhibit the crop diversity of Western Ghats. WDTDAC is a grassroots organization formed under the aegis of the Community Agrobiodiversity Center of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation to foster the conservation efforts by the indigenous communities and ensuring their livelihoods. For their efforts towards agro-biodiversity conservation, WDTDAC received the prestigious Plant Genome Saviour Community award in 2010-11 to recognise the tireless efforts of Kurichia and Mullukuruma communities in conserving the traditional rice varieties of Wayanad, Kerala.
A unique model was created by WDTDAC by constituting regional awards from the interest accrued from the award money to promote other custodian farmers engaged in agro-biodiversity conservation. WDTDAC constituted regional Adivasi Genome Saviour Award with the support and collaboration of Community Agrobiodiversity Center of MSSRF. So far WDTDAC has given 15 awards to tribal on-farm conservators promoting the conservation of different plant and animal genetic resources related to agriculture in the region.
WDTDAC also participated in the preliminary interaction meeting on “Plant Genome Resources of India” by PPV&FR Authority on 3rd August 2022 prior to the international treaty. The six days long event was a mix of scientific discussions, interaction and exhibitions. The exhibition was visited by representatives from 130 countries, observers of international organisations, NGOs, academicians and delegates of premier agriculture research institutes and representatives from different global media.
The members of WDTDAC got the opportunity to interact with genome resource conservers across India along with subject experts and representatives of different gene banks. The overseas representatives of the treaty expressed their curiosity and appreciated WDTDAC for their efforts in the conservation of agro-biodiversity. As a token of love and appreciation, farmers from other parts of the country exchanged their seeds with each other during the event.
Ms. Devaki A, Mr Kelu Athikolly and Ms. Radha E represented WDTDAC at the G9 meet. On behalf of CAbC MSSRF Mr. Vipindas, Development Coordinator facilitated the participation of WDTDAC.