Initiative envisages cultivation of indigenous plants and trees
A novel project for biodiversity conservation will soon be implemented in Pudukkad Assembly constituency.
The project initiated by C. Raveendranath, MLA, envisages cultivation of indigenous plants and trees. The project aims to conserve those species facing the threat of extinction and to exploit its commercial possibilities in the global market.
The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) will be the key player in the implementation of the project.
A meeting of KAU scientists led by P. V. Balachandran, Director of Extension, held here on Friday charted out a blueprint for the project.
Speaking on the concept and modus operandi of the project, Mr. Raveendranath — who had earlier implemented the successful Kadhali (plantain) cultivation project in the constituency — said the KAU would lead the project implementation team in which officers of the Agricultural Department, NGOs, school children and public would be important players.
“KAU will provide technical support for the project. The first phase of cultivation will be done on campuses of schools, churches, temples and in public spaces. We have 79 school campuses and 50-odd places of worship in the constituency. They are eager to participate in the project,” he said.
A bio-diversity register will be maintained.
Motivating the public and educating the future generation on the necessity of conserving heritage and biodiversity is another aim of the project.
“We can’t convince people only by preaching. Creating real models is necessary,” said Mr. Raveendranath.
Mr. Balachandran said the project involved collection and conservation of germplasm of all indigenous plants and trees.
“There will be separate plots for medicinal plants, pulses and cereals, flowers, vegetables, minor fruits, tubers and tree crops. Each of these is important. Conserving all these is a herculean task but not an impossible one. We will start with preparation of specific project protocols, identification of species/varieties and biodiversity mapping of the project area,” he said.
The project is expected to be kicked off with a seminar in the second week of May.
First phase of cultivation will be done on campuses
of schools, churches, temples and in