Acknowledging the role of farmers of tribal areas in generation and conservation of biodiversity, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that new technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas as they contributed a lot in protecting the environment.
Stressing on utilisation of their knowledge of natural resources, Singh said, "The tribals have unique knowledge of climate suitable varieties. We must utilise their expertise that they have earned while living in the same area for ages, roaming around forests and living in close contact with nature. Their knowledge would be utilised to promote organic farming in tribal areas as lands in tribal areas are best suitable for sustainable and organic farming."
"Prior to introduction of new technologies in tribal areas, the agencies must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas," Singh said, while addressing a national workshop on empowerment of farmers of tribal areas in the presence of Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram.
"In last three years, tribal farmers have submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties through KVKs for registration at Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority. This will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future," the minister said.
Pushing for the introduction of new seed varieties, Singh said, "New varieties of coarse grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, flowers, vegetables are to be propagated in these areas besides the introduction of integrated farming, new techniques, etc. Special attention shall be given to area-specific integrated farming modules."