Bio-diversity and tribal cultivation practices
The tribal regions of Orissa used to contain a high biodiversity of crops which sustained the local tribal communities. However, due to deforestation and climate change influencing rainfall patterns, the rich soil and forests have disappeared leaving the tribal communities on the brink of starvation. Projects attempting to help the tribals have included measures such as agroforestry, contour cropping, vegetative bunds, and watershed improvements. These measures had poor sustainability and did not significantly decrease land degradation. One option for tribal communities could be conservation agriculture (CA) since the author has found that tribal farmers have a high level of acceptance of CA. India and the NGO sector must begin promoting CA if genetic resources and local knowledge systems of indigenous communities are to survive.