Highest agrobiodiversity of crops in Ri Bhoi’s Khweng

Book on agrobiodiversity of Meghalaya, Nagaland launched

SHILLONG, Nov 9: Khweng has the highest agrobiodiversity with over 319 crops followed by Marmain, which are both villages from Ri Bhoi, indicating rich biodiversity in the communities.
This was informed by Senior Associate, Research, North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS), Dr. Bhogtoram Mawroh, at a state-level dissemination workshop on findings of micro-nutrient rich and climate resilient crop species at Khweng on Tuesday. He highlighted the key factors of mapping study which was held in Khweng and Khliehumstem from Bhoirymbong, Ri Bhoi.
The workshop aimed at sharing the findings of the participatory mapping, production plan and assessment of increase production with the communities.
The rankings are based on different indicators and it was found that most of the traditional crops were micro-nutrient rich species (MNRS) and climate resilient species (CRS). However, the dietary diversity score (DDS) in all the study area was below the average of 5, and 5 is considered adequate to meet the minimum nutrient requirement of the body.
Under the REC-funded project of NESFAS, ‘No One Shall Be Left Behind Initiative’, activities like production plan was an intervention to increase the production of such species and also focused at increasing the consumption of those food groups that are missing from the diets. This has shown a positive impact with a 30% increase, both in the production and consumption of MNRS and CRS in the partner villages.
Umroi MLA, George Lyngdoh, who was the chief guest of the occasion, officially launched a book called Agrobiodiversity Bookof Meghalaya and Nagaland -Volume I, which is produced by NESFAS. The book is considered an encyclopaedia of food plants that are found in the Indigenous Food Systems of Meghalaya and Nagaland.
“It is an honour to launch the book. It is a pride for us as indigenous peoples of Meghalaya to showcase the rich biodiversity that is present in our food system,” said George Lyngdoh.
Guest of honour, BDO of Bhoirymbong Clifford Warjri, besides community representatives from Khweng, Khliehumstem, Madanrtiang and scholars from ICAR also participated in the event.
Speaking at event, Bhoirymbong BDO applauded the effort of NESFAS and the communities in strengthening the agrobiodiversity harboured in the Indigenous Food System. George Lyngdoh and Clifford Warjri have expressed their commitment to collaborate and also urged NESFAS to scale up and expand the project to 145 villages under their districts. Additionally, NESFAS will also be piloting the procurement of local food in five villages within the mid-day meals and supplementary feeding programmes.
Symbolic to supporting our farmers and promoting health through local food, guests at the event were also felicitated with fresh local produce.

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