The Kudumbashree Initiative

Agrobiodiversity is the sustained management of various biological resources including multi-cropping, trees, herbs, spices, livestock, fish species and non-domesticated resources within fields and forests. Mainstreaming agrobiodiversity initiatives can address complex problems such as nutritional security, poverty alleviation, and women’s empowerment.

In the Indian state of Kerala, the Kudumbashree Mission, for women’s empowerment, initiated an agrobiodiversity project in the Palakkad area. The project has trained “Master Farmers” who in turn impart knowledge to younger farmers and students. In order to bring tribal farmers into the mainstream, Kudumbashree ensures market linkages by procuring produce for community kitchens and retail sales. Mainstreaming involves integrating specific components of biodiversity into other sectors for the generation of mutual benefits. By breaking away from the silo of limiting agrobiodiversity to conservation, the Kudumbashree project integrates increasing farm productivity, boosting nutritional security, and providing market access to tribal communities in remote areas.


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