Tribal Agriculture

Tribal agriculture is not just yielding or production, but it is the agriculture system in harmony with nature, soil, and ecosystem. At the same time, it also fulfills the nutritional needs of people and co-existing species along with nurturing the environment. Over the centuries, Indigenous people contributed a series of cultural, ecological, and agricultural knowledge which helps in maintaining biodiversity, protecting natural resources, and enhancing food security. The traditional farming methods provide multifunctional benefits to agriculture and people, including improved health and nutrition to the community, livelihood and food security, environmental, cultural and social upliftment, etc.

Sustainable food production has become one of the major challenges in the twenty-first century due to climate changes, increasing population, and degradation of natural sources. In such a critical era, Tribal agriculture has proven its relevance over centuries through its risk-minimizing system that is eco-friendly, climate-resilient, and sustainable. When the world is thriving for a paradigm shift to sustainable agriculture, Thanal promotes and supports the revival and practice of age-old agrarian practices in Kerala.

Thanal is working along with the indigenous farmers in Attappady, Wayanad, and Pathanamthitta, for the revival of their traditional agricultural methods along with their culture, rituals, and traditions. We provide technical assistance to the farmers and educate, encourage, and build nature enthusiastic young generations into experienced farmers.

In 2018, Thanal collaborated with Kerala State Scheduled Tribes Development department and Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic council in Namuth Vellame Project to ensure the nutritional security of the tribal communities through the revival of Panja Krishi, the traditional farming method of Attappadi. Thanal continues our efforts to revive tribal agriculture and provide technical assistance to family farmers in Kerala.

Our Projects

TDF Pathanamthitta
Project Foodscape

What We are doing

  • Revival of indigenous farming practices along with their culture, traditions and conservation of crop diversity.
  • Achieve nutrition sufficiency as well as promote sustainable sustainable agriculture by connecting food to farming and making a healthy community (SDG Goal 2).
  • Engaging, empowering and building community collectives through family farming and sharing responsibility among tribal communities.
  • Raise an environmentally conscious generation and encourage more youths into sustainable agriculture along with providing plenty of job opportunities to the tribal youths.
  • Integration of government and non-government organisations into tribal programmes to attain self-sufficiency and food security among tribal communities.

Along with our traditional farming practices, we were able to restore and reinforce our culture, rituals, unity, and love in our community. Now, all of us cultivate together in our fields with energy and passion like our ancestors. Thanks to Thanal and STDD for helping us restore our lives. We wish this energy, knowledge, and passion should be carried on to the next generations.

Kali Maruthan

Farmer, Attappadi

It is our great pleasure to be able to bring back the traditional tribal agriculture that has been neglected for many years. Namuth Vellame Project has made us (Attappadi tribal community people) realize the legacy of our ancestors and could feel the soul of our land. The solution is within us, in our land and the traditions we follow. Namuth Vellame is not just a mere project, but it is reclaiming our life.

Bharathan P Ashok

Field Coordinator

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