For achieving the sustainable agricultural and rural development, the Centre has adopted an integrated version of ecocentric and anthropocentric approaches in conservation. The 4C paradigm that was evolved over a period of two decades giving emphasis on mutually interlinked aspects like (1) conservation, (2) cultivation, (3) consumption and (4) commerce strives to strike a balance among these aspects to achieve sustainable agriculture and rural development.
In the areas of conservation we promote in situ, in situ on farm, ex situ, ex-situ on farm and community conservation strategies. The Centre gives priority to plant genetic resources like landraces of rice, vegetable crops, roots and tubers; wild edible plants; and rare, endemic & threatened species. Community Gene banks, seed villages, re- troduction of plants in their original habitats, establishment of botanical gardens and tree groves are some of the important strategies adopted to conserve the plant genetic wealth.
The Centre works to popularize cultivation practices that synergize the principles of ecology and economics. This is done mainly through the demonstration of innovative practices, revitalizing farming traditions and capacity building of farmers in conservation-oriented farming practices.
By integrating the concepts of fairness and equity, the Centre works with local farming communities to ensure diverse crops and plants for satisfying multiple needs like food, medicine, raw materials, etc. This is done mainly through popularizing diversity of crops/plants, disseminating knowledge about the importance and value of crops/plants, and through promotion of homestead farming for ensuring food and nutrition security at household level.
The Centre explores market instruments for promoting conservation/cultivation/consumption of local landraces and other plants of commercial or consumptive value. The Centre in partnership with local communities has been working towards developing market for neglected and under-utilized crops and plants.