Bhubaneswar: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently declared Koraput as a Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Site (GIAHS).
Eminent agro scientist M.S. Swaminathan on his Twitter account said that the work done by the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) scientists led to Koraput being declared as the GIAHS.
Koraput region of the state of Odisha is known for its ecological wealth coexisting with poverty, generally referred to as the paradox of economic poverty in the midst of genetic prosperity. Koraput is a tribal district; more than 70% of the total population comprises of scheduled tribes. There are as many as 52 tribal groups in this district. The socio-economic indicators in these areas are comparable to the worst in the world with the percentage of people below the poverty line ranging from 72% to 83%. The genetic repository of the region is of great significance in the global context. About 79 plant angiosperm species and one gymnosperm are endemic to the region.
Despite the genetic richness and poverty in plenty, no significant effort has been undertaken in the region to overcome the prevailing dichotomy between resource richness and rural poverty. The system could well be designed to provide opportunity for developing efficient people centred, pro-nature, pro-poor and prowomen oriented programmes in the region that could bring in rural prosperity and ensuring a long term biohapinness for the people and the region. The unique features of the system assumes global importance and initiatives need to be in place for local people to be a part of the conservation and, sustainable and equitable use of the bioresources which they have been bestowed with.