The natural environment of the soil/land is potentially rich in biodiversity, both in forest and in agriculture. However, this abundant natural resource base has been eroded over the years due to severe neglect and ignorance as also lack of perceived economic value. A reversal of this situation especially in agriculture, over which local community have control can begin with a planned programme which values livelihood and agro diversity and promotes its restoration. The agricultural biodiversity needs to be linked to local value addition and to a market which values this produce.
A conscious beginning and upscaling in this regard will lead to opening of opportunities of work and income for the community. It will also help the surrounding nature to be restored and conserved as it links with the growing opportunity in organic agriculture for which there is a growing consumer demand.
A conscious effort for farmer awareness, sensitization and imparting of organic agriculture techniques is needed. Besides creating market advantage, organic agriculture will also help in maintaining soil health and soil moisture, stabilize terraced fields, maintain quality of the produce, reduce risk in agriculture and ultimately lead to sustained productivity.
The high biodiversity of these regions, both in cultivated crops and naturally growing vegetation makes it ideal for organic production. The variations in microclimate over short distance, increases the potential for agro diversity and range of the agricultural produce.
This project proposes to take advantage of the organic potential of agriculture and its link with the growing global consciousness on health and nutrition. The lesser known crops are also being valued as consumers look for more variety. The project will also take advantage of the growing global demand for a variety of certified organic agricultural produce.