Nurturing Biodiversity for Food & Nutrition Security

We are persisting with approaches that help nutritionally vulnerable families access most of food & nutrition in their neighborhood

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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Seema Prakash

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • India

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?

Country - India State- Madhya Pradesh District- Khandwa (East Nimar)

Website or social media url(s)

Date Started

February 2002

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working toward the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €50k - €100k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

We began working with nutritionally Korku tribe , most of their habitation being in and around the Satpura forests. The core issues addressed were malnutrition and food security. The endeavor led to realization that much of the food and nutrition earlier came from traditional crops and Millet and minor forest produce. The shift in agriculture triggered household food crisis and malnutrition. We have put in serious efforts to promote revival of Millet and traditional crops and rediscover the forest foods. It has triple advantage - it ensures food security by letting families have food at home for elongated time, it reduces dependence on chemical pesticides and fertilizers and conserves the biodiversity.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Korku tribe families faced severe food crisis and that manifested in alarming malnutrition and deaths. This unsavory situation was caused as families shifted from growing Millet and Traditional crops to growing cash crops like soybean that they would not consume. It also increased use of chemicals and consequently debt burdens enhanced and biodiversity was affected. The household food crisis developed and many children began falling victims to stunting.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We are promoting revival of Millet and Traditional crops and Backyard Nutrition Gardens to bring back the food and nutrition at community level being accessible by most of the nutritionally vulnerable tribal families. The production of Millet and Traditional crops reduces the use of chemicals and Nutrition Gardens helps in diversifying diets. The revival of this aboriginal food culture also includes reintroduction of forest foods in diets. The effort also includes bio-diversity conservation in and around forests by plantations , nurseries and increased use of organic farming practices.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We initially began with a campaign to not only sensitize the community on advantages of revival of Millet farming but also collected the now nearly disappeared variety of Millet seeds. Millet Seed Banks were established at strategic locations. It is now community owned and willing farmers van borrow seeds and return little more as the community has decided. Some families were assisted to amend their lands to have increased sowing areas and in some places micro water conservation works were undertaken to increase irrigation. Women in particular have come forward in big ways.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

The local farmers and women collectives have been collaborators at grassroots. They have greatly helped in sensitizing their kinsmen, implementing the idea and using innovations. The Women & Child Development Department's grassroots functionaries too have advised the mothers to increase the consumption of traditional and forest foods.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

The farmers have begun to have adequate surplus production of Millet but have not yet found the market fro their produce . They are advocating for government promotion for Millet in Tribal belt by procuring it on Minimum Support Price and redistributing it through Public Distribution System. The social impact has been that the vulnerability to household hunger has significantly been reduced with most families having food at home for prolonged periods during the year. With food diversified with traditional and forest food items and poultry that malnutrition rates have slightly declined.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

We would like to have increased coverage in the current project geography and move forward to neighboring geography where large number of tribal families face similar vulnerabilities and loss to their biodiversity.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

It is addressing one of the most critical problems that has been a concern of National and State Governments and Civil Society organizations. It as stated has triple advantage- it addresses hunger, it reduces chemical inputs in the fields and conserves the biodiversity. It is a people driven initiatives with potential for sustainability.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

We are looking for donors to expand and scale the program fro greater impact and coverage . The mid term goal is to enhance the food and nutritional security but the long term goal is the biodiversity conservation able to reduce the vulnerability to hunger and malnutrition.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Director - Overall in charge of the organization . Responsible for liaison with donors and concerned government agencies Coordinators- overseeing the programs, training, documentation and reinforcing grassroots collaborations Front line workers- implements various activities, responsible for community n mobilization, reporting Administrative Staff- Day to day management, managing finances, audits and financial reports

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact


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