Koraput, a tribal dominated district of Odisha, India is well known for its rich biological and cultural diversity. Recently, it has been declared as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) site by Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) for its unique traditional agricultural system. The region forms a part of the 'Jeypore tract' established as one of the centers of origin of rice. Women play a key role in agriculture and have conserved a large number of traditional crops and varieties of which rice occupies a prime position. Utilizing traditional knowledge and skill, they select and cultivate diversified rice varieties on farm to fulfill their socio cultural and religious needs apart from food and nutrition. This paper documents, based on primary field data and reports collected over a period of fifteen years through various interactive and participatory programs, the traditional knowledge and practices adopted by tribal women in agrobiodiversity conservation and its utilization in the tribal villages. It is observed that tribal women need to be trained with improved cultivation practices to increase production, conservation and utilization of traditional crops.
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|The paper is informative on indigenous method of conservation of agro-biodiversity in Koraput. It would have more interesting had the authors presented their findings in a comparative way showing variation among five tribal groups of Koraput.
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