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An indigenous community in Meghalaya offers lessons in climate resilience

·         The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) report on autochthonal People’s Food Systems co-published by Food and Agriculture Organization and also the Alliance of Bioversity International, and CIAT includes the profiles of eight autochthonal Peoples food systems from round the world, as well as Uttarakhand and Meghalaya in India.

·         In Nongtraw (Meghalaya), a village only inhabited  by the Khasi, various traditional food systems supported by jhum (shifting cultivation), home gardens, forest and water bodies, shying faraway from artificial chemicals in food production.

·         It is predicated on community-led landscape management practices, regulated by native governance.

·         Nongtraw lies on the mid-slope of a deep gorge within the Cherrapunji region, a extremely compound plateau on the southern margins of the Meghalaya plateau.

·         Factors like the emergence of money crop production (broom grass), the impact of India’s public distribution system on the native subsistence system and overreliance on market-based merchandise are weakening the food system’s resilience.

·         Much just like the Khasis in Nongtraw, the SauriaPaharias of Jharkhand, a very vulnerable tribal} group (PVTG), who practice Kurwa farming (a style of shifting agriculture in forests, in conjunction with farming in agricultural lands) have switched to growing rice in place of drought-resistant millets due to agricultural interventions that in the main targeted on yields.

·         Research priorities on autochthonic food systems ought to incorporate systematic documentation of a large type of autochthonal foods known  to the indigenous communities, their contribution to food security and dietary diversity.