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Theme: Seed Biotechnology and Eastern India’s “New Green Revolution”: Issues and Challenges

(Vol. 14, No. 2, April-June, 2016) ISSN 0973 – 8444
Shifting Cultivation in Odisha and Chhattisgarh: Rich Agro-biodiodiverse Systems Under Risk
Sharat Singh,* Jagdish K. Purohit** & Amita Bhaduri***
*Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), Ranchi
** Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), Udaipur
***Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), Delhi
Abstract: Tribal communities have lived closely with nature, hunting, gathering and managing natural resources to meet their needs. Shifting cultivation is one such practice that has helped certain tribal groups to be food secure and has also been a repository of agro-biodiversity. Regardless of the above, mainstream development ideas have mostly rejected these practices and facilitated their conversion to mainstream agriculture. The thrust of market-based ‘mainstream development’ government-funded programmes of land development, plantation and other ‘livelihood development programmes implemented by NGOs’ is increasingly affecting the way of life of tribals. This article studies shifting cultivation practices by two Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in two districts, showing the uniqueness of shifting cultivation systems. These systems combine socio-culture, knowledge of traditional farming systems, and bio-physical characteristics of the locality. Yet in both the study areas, in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, agro-biodiversity is decreasing.
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