Plant Genome Saviour Community award to Nicobari tribe

Port Blair
26 Apr 2017

The Protection of  Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority(PPVFRA, Government of India) has conferred the Plant Genome Saviour Community Award to Nicobari Tribes as they cultivate, conserve, use and distribute seven  different varieties of greater yam (Nicobari Aloo: Dioscorea alata) namely Achin (Purple flesh), Domrit (a fragrant type and a normal type), Bolta, Paltu, Thirose, Kaniya & Thakniya thakavu. The Nicobari tribes can themselves identify the varieties based on the tuber shape, flesh colour, colour of  the leaf and aroma of the tuber and each variety are meant for specific uses. They also cultivate, conserve and use a variety “Tumik” which is belonging to Dioscorea esculenta and a variety in Dioscorea bulbifera.
A systematic survey work was carried out in Car Nicobar by the team of Scientists namely Dr.M.Sankaran, Dr.V.Damodaran, Dr.S.Dam Roy, Dr.T.Subramani and Dr.James George and documented the diversity of tuber crops and its utilization by the Nicobari tribes. A documentary video on Nicobari Aloo has been submitted to PPVFRA for consideration of award in 2013 and again a revised version was submitted in 2014. Later on, the PPVFRA had formed a committee to ground truth verification and the same has been done with the help of KVK, Car Nicobar and officials of Department of Agriculture.  On scrutiny of the document and video film on Nicobari Aloo by the committee, the PPVFRA has considered the contribution of Nicobari tribes to Plant Genome Saviour Community Award.
The award ceremony was held at Mothihari, Champaran, Bihar, on 19th April, 2017. Mr Radha Mohan Singh, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, has presented the award (Rs.10 lakhs and citation) to the representatives of Tribal Council, Car Nicobar.