Feature in the Deccan Herald ﹣ Bioversity International gender fellow Narasimha Hedge writes about how people in Sirsi, India are now working together to safeguard a local variety of Garcinia indica, a fruit commonly known as kokum.
Narasimha is hosted by LIFE Trust, India, and works closely with us on 'In-situ and on-farm conservation of wild and domesticated tropical fruit tree diversity', an initiative supported by UNEP-GEF.
Here is an excerpt from his article on the Deccan Herald (with contributions from Bioversity International researchers Hugo Lamers and Marlène Elias):
“For the first time, women in our village from different ethnic groups decided to form a women’s group called Matrabhoomi (mothers’ land) and started producing kokum juice concentrate. This with great success, as the first batch of 350 litres was well received by shopkeepers as a natural product of high quality...
...The village is located in the remote forest area of the central Western Ghats, where more than 75 per cent of the land is under forest cover. Farming, agricultural labouring and gathering of forest resources are the primary livelihood activities of villagers. Many marginalised socio-religious and tribal communities, including Siddis and Khare Vokkaligas, live below the poverty line."