The science behind tradition

Arunachalam, V. (2001) The science behind tradition Current Science, 80 (10). pp. 1272-1275. ISSN 0011-3891

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Tradition is a term intimately associated with biodiversity. Traditional varieties, traditional practices of cultivation and traditional environment are examples in support. Tribal people consist of 8.4% of India's total population (1991 census). Tribal habitats are biodiversity-rich, but tribal farmers are resource-poor. Conceptually, tradition and science are two intersecting spheres that overlap on principles. The intersection is conceived to represent reality. Tribal cultivation exhibits some traditional practices with an underlying scientific basis. At the same time, there are traditions of scientific concern needing appropriate modification. Rice cultivation in the Jeypore tract of Orissa provides an example and a case that has been studied in depth. This paper presents a possible synergy between tradition and science and argues that participatory research with poor (tribal) and unreached farmers provides an option to ensure sustainable and improved livelihood to them. Unlike high-yielding varieties technology, this option helps to preserve biodiversity-rich habitats, prevents urban migration and promotes in situ on-farm conservation of biodiversity through its sustainable use.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Current Science Association.
ID Code:89414
Deposited On:27 Apr 2012 14:21
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