DBT - RGCB has endeavoured the scientific study on Tribal Heritage of Kerala and Reinvention of their Ethnic Food and Medicine with the grant-in-aid support from Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India under the "Science & Heritage Research Initiatives (SHRI)" program. The main objective of the project is to preserve the rich tribal heritage of Kerala and revitalise their ethnic food, cuisines and healthcare practices through inclusive and participatory approach. Field analysis of tribal knowledge and practices in traditional food varieties, healthcare, ethno-botanical explorations, sustainable utilization of local resources and their value addition, establishment of tribal community enterprise models, etc. are actuated in Trivandrum, Idukki and Wayanad Districts of Kerala.
Food is an epitome of culture, emotion, hospitality, and prestige; and is closely knitted with tradition. Food is often used as a means of retaining the cultural identity of tribal communities. Ethnic foods are nutrient rich and they have a long history of supporting health and wellness. Each community has their own system of preparation and preservation.
Tribal people are god-gifted with their art and craft skills. Each group has its own festivals, legends, customs, taboos, rituals, superstitions, institutions, dances, songs, music and past reminiscences of their particular clan that have left an indelible impact on the artistic impulses of the group.
After a sudden demand for high-yielding varieties/breeds of crops/livestock, the indigenous ones started getting neglected from the mainstream and are now in the verge of extension. It is, therefore, pertinent to capture, conserve and protect the traditional varietal diversity.
Ethno veterinary practice (EVP) is a traditional veterinary health care practice which includes knowledge, skill, practice and beliefs about animal health care. The indigenous knowledge of the veterinary health care system acquired by traditional healers is usually maintained as oral lore in their community.
Promoting household and Local Health Traditions (animal and human), Traditional crop varieties and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) are livelihood options available for native people. The stake holders of community owned enterprises should be the collectors and cultivators of natural resources.
DBT-RGCB has constituted a Self Help Group (SHG) of Mala arayan tribal community and supported them to establish a nursery exclusively for traditional black pepper varieties at Pattayakudi, Venmony Panchayath, Idukki District.
Field Gene Bank of Traditional Paddy Varieties
As part of the conservation of traditional paddy varieties, we are implementing the concept of field gene bank by promoting the cultivation of traditional varieties in Wayanad.