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GHNP-Grassroots Institute’s Initiative on Agrobiodiversity Conservation & Farmers’ Livelihoods

Having rich bio-cultural traditions the farmer communities residing in buffer zone of Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) have maintained huge agrobiodiversity through a variety of crop compositions, cropping patterns and crop rotations. Farmers practice polyculture by growing multiple traditional cultivars of millets, pulses, beans, barley, pea, buckwheat, horse gram, maize, wheat and potato. About 45 traditional cultivars of 15 different crops are being cultivated by the mountain farmers in 2 gram panchayats covering 20 villages in Tirthan Valley of GHNP, Kullu district (HP). But, for over a decade, this agrobiodiversity is subjected to erode fast chiefly due to economic and agronomic reasons. As the farmers do get space/prices in the market for produce of these traditional crop landraces and the yield performance of these landraces is low, the farmers have been switching over to cash/export oriented crops. As a consequence, a great deal of landraces of different crops have wiped out from the croplands of mountain farmers in Tirthan Valley. The decrease in biodiversity within natural or agricultural ecosystem is an indicator of severe environmental degradation. Conservation challenge ahead lies in preserving in situ the genetically-superior traditional cultivars, and in value addition, processing and marketing of produce of traditional crops, so that the livelihood of marginal and poor farmers, which is relatively based on bioresources of national park, can be diversified/diverted and the overall goal of biodiversity conservation is fully achieved.


  1. To promote in situ conservation of agrobiodiversity and agro-ecosystem in Tirthan Valley of Great Himalayan National Park; and
  2. To improve the farm-based livelihood of farmers in Tirthan Valley by developing market for value added products from the produce of traditional crops.

Major Activities

  • Mapping, Characterization and Documentation of Agrobiodiversity
  • Germplasm Registration with National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources
  • Establishment of Community Seed Banks and Exchange of Seeds
  • Revival and Continuation of Landraces for in situ Conservation
  • Development of Market Linkages for Products of Traditional Crops

Map of GHNP

(Photo Courtesy: GHNP Website, 2012)


  • Orientation of Execution Team | 22 December 2012 | Sai Ropa
  • Primary Stakeholders Consultation | 22 November 2012 | Sai Ropa
> Consultation Report > Presentation
> Voices | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • GI-GHNP Planning Meeting | 09 November 2012 | Shamshi
  • Preliminary Discussion on Working Jointly | 09-10 August 2012 | Sai Ropa & Shamshi

GHNP-Grassroots Institute’s Initiative has completed 2018. For related documents, please see Completed Research page or Agro-biodiversity study link.

Further Information