A knowledge platform for agricultural biodiversity
The M S Swaminathan Research Foundation Community Agrobiodiversity Centre in India serves as a temple of knowledge for conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity.
To achieve sustainable agricultural and rural development, the Community Agrobiodiversity Centre in peninsular India promotes biodiversity and conservation of under-utilized species focusing on both nature and people. The Centre’s “4C” paradigm has been developed over two decades and places emphasis on the mutually interlinked aspects of conservation, cultivation, consumption and commerce. Priority is given to plant genetic resources like locally-adapted varieties of rice, vegetable crops, roots and tubers; wild edible plants; and rare, endemic and threatened species. The Centre works closely with local farmers to identify diverse crops and plants that can satisfy multiple needs like food, medicine, fiber and raw materials. This is done mainly through popularizing the diversity of crops and plants, disseminating knowledge about their importance and value, and through the promotion of homestead farming for ensuring food and nutrition security at household level. The Centre, in partnership with local communities, also works towards developing new and scalable markets for neglected and under-utilized crops and plants.