Introduction

Background of the Using Diversity Network and UD Project 2017-2020

The Using Diversity (UD ) Network – started in 1996 to promote agricultural biodiversity and stress the importance of uncultivated foods for adivasi people.  The UD network enables civil society groups and community leaders to revive and promote uncultivated foods and traditional mixed cropping system in different parts of India. The network carries the message of food sovereignty, diet diversity and health and nutrition of Adivasi people. The UD network works on the principal of Peoples Led Development (PLD), and it aims to empower local communities to understand and address issues and challenges facing them on their own, with external organisations only playing a supporting role.

UD Project (2017-2020) – is aimed at promotion, conservation and sustainable use of traditional agriculture, indigenous crops, crop genetic resources and uncultivated foods for enhanced food and nutritional security of marginalised communities across India. The UD project is being implemented through NGOs and CBOs in different parts of India and is focussing on marginalised Adivasi communities.  The project currently involves Baiga and Bharia communities of M.P.,  Pahari Korwa, Birhor and Kamars of Chhattisgarh, Paharias of Jharkhand, Kattunaicken and Cholanaickens of Kerela, Kurumba of Tamil Nadu and Katkari of Maharashtra. Grass root activities are carried out by community fellows from the respective targeted community and they work alongside the local communities to implement project objectives in tune with local realities. While working with villages and families belonging to these communities the three broad focus areas of the project are:

1.       Traditional Agricultural Practices and Mixed Cropping

2.       Uncultivated Food

3.       Forest Rights Act with a focus on CFR and Habitat Rights