Title : Genetic diversity of horticultural crops in Arunachal Pradesh and their role in nutritional security
The state of Arunachal Pradesh has been blessed by nature with one of the richest flora and fauna on the earth and regarded as one of the ‘Biodiversity Hot Spot’ areas in the world. Its unique phytogeographical positions, topography and a high degree of precipitation are some of the important factors which are mainly responsible for its enormous biological diversity. As a result, an array of horticultural crops are grown across the region ranging from tropical to alpine. A large number of diversity in fruits belonging to the genera Artocarpus, Annona, Averrhoa, Garcinia, Musa, Passiflora, Phyllanthus, etc. are reported from the region. Besides diverse genotypes of cucurbits, solanaceous vegetables, ginger, turmeric, bamboo, leafy vegetables etc. are having unique quality because of their locational advantage. Though agriculture is the major source of livelihood for the major section of people still it has been remaining complex, diverse and risk-prone and resulting into the low level of productivity and income since decades. Under this situation, probably horticulture sector has desirable attributes to accelerate the agricultural growth process in the state. The horticultural sector plays very important role towards sustainable rural livelihoods in all farming system in general and in rainfed and hilly farming system in particular like Arunachal Pradesh. Further most of these crops are rich in vitamins, minerals and such other bioactive molecules. These crops have the potentiality to alleviate the poverty, food and can give nutritional security and also play a major role in meeting the need of nutritional and ethno medicinal uses of the rural tribal people of region since time immemorial. Nutrition security implies physical, economic and social access to balanced diet for every citizen. Malnutrition has a complex aetiology and its prevention requires awareness and access at affordable price to all the above-unreached and undernourished. In this direction minor or underutilized fruit and vegetables plays a vital role. Many of these fruits are eaten locally to meet their nutritional requirement; many of them are used for their ethno- medicinal properties besides colour, flavour and other health benefits. However, there is yet to explore the full potentialities of some minor fruits, leafy vegetables of the state used by tribal people and also many of such valuable resources remain unexploited due to lack of awareness of their potential. The details of diversity of horticultural crops and their present situation and role towards livelihood and nutritional security will be discussed.
Audience Take Away:
• Audience will be able to know the diversity of horticultural crops and wisdom of tribal people of the region
• This deliberation will help the audience by giving information on unique plants which are yet to explore