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Research Paper

GIs for Protecting Agro-Biodiversity and Promoting Rural Livelihoods: Status, Strategies and Way Forward

Publisher: GIDR

One of the eight primary centers of origin of cultivated plants, India has about 379 closely related wild species including rice, pulses, millets, vegetables, fruits and fiber plants. Such diverse agro-biodiversity is increasingly threatened by vagaries of weather and acquisition of agricultural land for industrialization and urbanization. This is reflected, for instance, in the reducing number of food grain varieties and cultivators in different parts of the country. In this paper, the relevance of Geographical Indications (GI), as an important instrument to protect agro-biodiversity is attempted at. GI recognizes the link between the geographical region and product by highlighting any uniqueness of the product like fragrance, taste, specific use that is derived from the geographical link. Till June 2016, 78 agricultural products from different parts of India have been protected under GI which includes food grains, pulses and condiments. Many of the GI protected products (except those under plantation) are grown in small areas by a few farmers and face threat of extinction due to fluctuating market and non-cultivation by farmers. Such extinction indicates a two-fold impact on livelihood security and agro biodiversity– (a) possible vulnerability in livelihood due to change of cropping pattern/leaving agriculture and (b) loss of diversity due to discontinuation of cultivation. GIs could be used to market such products by bridging asymmetry of information between sellers and buyers and thereby revive the farmers’ interest and help address the threat to biodiversity.

Author(s): N. Lalitha, Soumya Vinayan | Views(15) | Download (4)

  
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