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Harnessing the Diversity of Wild Relatives of Tropical Fruit Tree Species for Sustainable Livelihoods
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Harnessing the Diversity of Wild Relatives of Tropical Fruit Tree Species for Sustainable Livelihoods


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Bioversity International scientist Bhuwon Sthapit presents on the importance of fruit tree wild relatives in supporting livelihoods and a series of valuable ecosystem services. He gives a good …

Bioversity International scientist Bhuwon Sthapit presents on the importance of fruit tree wild relatives in supporting livelihoods and a series of valuable ecosystem services. He gives a good overview of the current status, uses and conservation practices of various wild fruit tree species in South and Southeast Asia. Presented at the 29th International Horticulture Congress in Brisbane, Australia.

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  • 1. Harnessing the Diversity of Wild Relatives of Tropical Fruit Tree Species for Sustainable Livelihoods Bhuwon Sthapit, R. Vasudeva, Salma Idris, Suchitra Changtragoon, Winarno, Panida Rungrattakul, Supatra Limpiyaprapan and Ramanatha Rao 22 August 2014, International Horticulture Conference, Brisbane, Australia
  • 2. The Tropical Fruit Tree Project in partnership with
  • 3. • Wild fruit trees: Extraordinarily valuable resource • Provide important genetic resources • Important source of income to dis-advataged rural households • Key element to overcome poverty • Provider of several ecosystem services Tropical Fruit Trees (TFT)
  • 4. Tropical Fruit Tree resources are in danger Today their genetic resources are threatened due to Habitat loss and Climate Change Conserving the Wild Relatives of TFTs in their Natural Surroundings is Important because:  Populations to continue to evolve and  Generate new genetic variations that are adapted to changing conditions
  • 5. However, the conservation of TFT Resources is complicated: • Ex Situ conservation is NOT always possible: • Recalcitrant seeds: cannot be stored in genebanks • Field Gene Banks: are expensive / sudden collapse • In Situ conservation is limited due to : • Requirement of vast wilderness area for effective conservation • Effective population sizes cannot be achieved easily
  • 6. Key to the conservation & use of wild relatives • Which wild relatives are important? Knowing them • Where are these resources? Geographic distribution • Why/how are they being used? Documenting traditional uses • How are they being protected? Good practices of on-farm diversity • What policies are Important? Policy environment for protection
  • 7. • 36 Communities in four countries: India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – Documenting Species Richness – Understanding their local uses – Multiple Values Project Sites
  • 8. Methods and Materials • Multiple Sources of Information: – PRA, Baseline Surveys – Focus group discussions on traditional knowledge documentation – Fruit Diversity Fairs – Community Fruit Catalogues – Key informant surveys of Custodian Farmers • Information obtained: – through personal interview – field observation methods • Credit: R. Vasudeva
  • 9. Field Visits: Good practices
  • 10. Salient Results
  • 11. Table 1. Consolidated List : Wild Relatives of TFTs (Partial) Wild species Local name India Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Mangifera 1 Mangifera indica a a a a 2 M. appalanta a 2 M. andamanica a 3 M. caesia a a 4 M. foetida a a a 5 M. griffithii a a 6 M. havilandi a 7 M. laurina a a 8 M. odarata a 9 M. pajang a 10 M. pentandra a a 11 M. quadrifida a a 12 M. torquenda a a 13 M. camptosperma a 14 M. cochinchinensis a 15 M. lagenifera a 16 M. duperreana a 17 Mangifera sp. Mamuang a 18 Mangifera sp.. Mamuang namtan a 19 Mangifera sp. pakkrabog a 20 Mangifera sp. Mamuang samhoy a 21 Mangifera sp. Mamuang tansine a 22 Mangifera sp. Mamuang kaeo a
  • 12. Number of wild species of major tropical fruit tree species found to be used by the communities in different countries Genus No. of Communities India Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Mangifera 2 11 11 7 Garcinia 5 3 8 14 Nephelium - 5 7 4 Citrus 8 - - 1
  • 13. Globally Significant Wild Relatives Indonesia: three wild species of Mangifera such as Kasturi (M. casturi), Kuini (M. odorata), and Binjai (M. caesia) have been deemed globally significant wild species These genetic resources have uniquely adapted to the waterlogged ecosystems of Sarawak Islands in Indonesia and Malaysia. Bioversity InternationalB. Bhuwon Sthapit
  • 14. a India: three wild varieties of Garcinia and one variety of Citrus are some of the examples for their global threat status and due to specific use as medicine Garcinia indica : Orange, green and yellow morphotypes • Credit: R. Vasudeva Globally Significant Wild Relatives
  • 15. Pic: R. Vasudeva Inter-specific grafting of Garcinia to overcome the genetic limitations of one species, innovated by a Custodian Farmer in India. An inter-specific grafting yields valuable fruit and comes up in drier conditions also Thailand: M. odorata and M. duperreana are used as rootstock to scion of commercial varieties of M. indica Garcinia gummi-gutta: Highly valued but needs very moist conditions and not tolerant to drier conditions Garcinia indica: Root stock resistant to drought Use of wild relatives in plant breeding/propagation
  • 16. Credit: R. Vasudeva Sustainable Diets In India, wild aromatic pickle mango (WPM) is: • harvested from wild, • used for preparing aromatic pickles and • semi-domesticated in the home gardens.
  • 17. Sustainable Diets Sarawak, Malaysia: Communities plant and harvest both wild and semi-domesticated fruit trees such as durian, Rambutan, Artocarpus spp (tarap) fruits, Mangosteen etc. as sources of sustainable and naturally biofortified diets.
  • 18. Local Livelihoods and Uses Number of major uses of wild species in different countries Genus India Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Mangifera 09 3 10 04 Garcinia 05 2 6 04 Nephelium - 2 7 03 Citrus 5 - - 07 Credit: R. Vasudeva
  • 19. Is there an association between the utility and the frequency of wild relatives?
  • 20. An example from the Western Ghats, India • Two communities were considered • 13 major utility of the all Tropical fruit trees were considered • A cultural importance value was computed. This index measures the use-value of a plant by including the number of informants citing a given use-value. (Philips and Gentry in 1993) Where ‘N’ is the number of informants, ‘NU’ is the number of use-values cited and ‘UR’ is the number of different uses mentioned by each informant i.
  • 21. Association between the Cultural Value Index (CI) and log frequency of the wild species in home gardens Communities maintain those wild species that are MOST useful them Association between the cultural importance value and its frequency in typical coastal and upper ghat village communities of the Western Ghats of India
  • 22. Ecosystem services of wild relatives Sarawak, Malaysia: Profusely flowering wild species such as M. foetida, M. odorata, Nephelium lappaceum – ak, Spondias cytherea, Bouea macrophylla, Phyllanthus acidus provide shelter to trigona bee populations. Western Ghats, India: wild aromatic pickle mango types are found throughout riverine forests and are well known for stabilizing river banks.
  • 23. Conclusions In 36 communities of four South and Southeast Asian countries that plant breeding uses of wild species and wild relatives of target crops are limited to use of rootstock or scion for domestication process. Local communities value them for culturally associated sustainable diets, nutrition and other goods and services provided including ecosystem and evolutionary services provided. Among the initial populations examined, those which are genetically most diverse within, should merit a high priority for conservation. Credit: R. Vasudeva
  • 24. This study is the output of the UNEP/GEF-supported regional project “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Cultivated and Wild Tropical Fruit Diversity: Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods, Food Security and Ecosystem Services”, implemented in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand. The project is coordinated regionally by Bioversity International in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi; Indonesian Centre for Horticulture Research and Development (ICHORD), Jakarta; Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Kuala Lumpur; Department of Agriculture (DOA), Bangkok.
  • 25. Thank you