The Indian sub-continent is extremely rich in its plant wealth. It is one among the twelve mega diversity centers in the world, and is also one of the eight centers of origin of cultivated plants and areas of diversity of their wild relatives as classified by Vavilov.
In order to protect the diversity of Tropical Fruit Tree Genetic Resources (TFTGR) in situ and through on farm conservation through sustainable management practices which would benefit the rural communities and to develop the capacity and leadership skills for managing this diversity, Bioversity International along with ICAR is executing United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funded by Global
Environment Facility (GEF). This project is being operated in five sites,
namely, Amravati (Maharashtra), Chittoor (Seemandhra/Andhra), Malihabad
(U.P.), Pusa (Bihar) and Sirsi (Karnataka) on three fruit crops viz., Mango, Citrus and Garcinia.
A great amount of diversity has been assembled in Farmers’ fields in situ as well as in gene banks of the ICAR institutes. The identification of the unique varieties of these crops along with the details of the Custodian Farmers (CF) has been documented in the form of a catalogue entitled “National Fruit Catalogue of Tropical Fruit Tree Diversity (Mangifera, Citrus and Garcinia). The catalogues lists 121 mango varieties, 21 Citrus (Pummelo, Lime, lemon, Sweet Orange and Mandarin
Orange) and two Garcinia indica. Efforts have been made to register the unique mango varieties through the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA). This is a parallel of the UPOV operating in Europe. Thus the registration of the varieties would benefit the farmers/communities as they would become the legal owners of this.