Sustainable Management of Agroecological Resources for Tribal Societies (SMARTS)

Sustainable Management of Agroecological Resources for Tribal Societies (SMARTS)


11/01/09 - 10/31/14


Traditional agriculture in tribal and ethnic agricultural societies in India and Nepal is increasingly relegated to less productive land, often on steepslopes, resulting in lower productivity, degradation of soil and water resources, impairment of health and loss of livelihood options.

Particularly affected are the small holder tribal communities of the Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput regions of Orissa state, India, and the Arun River Valley and Trishuli watershed of Nepal. In these areas, environmental degradation has driven tribal and ethnic communities engaged in subsistence agriculture into severe malnutrition and loss of livelihood options.

We applied a participatory agroecological framework to prioritize local resource use preferences, develop improved conservation practices and identify market opportunities to enhance livelihood options. Improving gender equity and empowering women are essential goals of the project. Results will be documented in baseline surveys and follow-up evaluations of conservation practices, with particular attention to women‘s participation in management and decision-making.

University of Hawaii faculty will collaborate with local NGOs, such as AGRAGAMEE in India and the Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) in Nepal. We will also seek partnerships with Orissa University of Agricultural Technology in India and development in India and development institutions such as the National Bank of Agricultural and Rural Development in India.


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