Monday, June 17, 2024

Ukhrul Youth’s rewilding effort reach World Food Forum


EKHON | UKHRUL: A 29 year-old entrepreneur, Yomatha Raleng from Teinem village of Ukhrul in Manipur highlighted the efforts of Teinem’s village in rewilding barren areas to restore biodiversity based on Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge at the World Food Forum 2023 Flagship Event held from 16 to 21 October via online platform.

Speaking on the topic “Youth-Led Agro Forestry” at the Side event titled “Branching out: Youth Action and Entrepreneurship in Agroforestry for Economic and Environmental Impact”, Co-odinator of Rewilding Project under Hill Wild, Yomatha Raleng said she is committed to contribute to restore biodiversity in Teinem village “which is currently facing loss of soil nutrition and the disappearance of indigenous food and knowledge systems with a focus on reclaiming ancestral knowledge to maintain forests and establish a robust food system.”

Teinem Village, located 12 KM towards the west of Ukhrul district, Manipur, India comes under Lungchong Meiphei Sub-division community development block.

The area of LM block is a community land donated for development purposes, however, around 30-40 acres of land remained wasteland, of which the village authorities are enthusiastic to turn the area into a land use system such as agroforestry that can have both ecological and economic impact, Yomatha Raleng shared.

The rewilding project at Teinem aimed to produce their own jaggery, become the largest producer of plum and tree tomatoes to meet the needs of the local market and even beyond.

Meanwhile, Hill Wild Founder, Zeinorin Angkang expressed her happiness saying, “I’m very happy with this initial step in our generational work. This collaboration with Hill Wild is one of the founding principles of why we want to share indigenous food to the world while preserving our biodiversity and emphasising the need for investment in this mission. Our food system is one of the most resilient system in the world and we must protect it at all costs,” she asserted.

With a background in Theology and a specialization in Social Analysis, Yomatha Raleng said her interest was fueled by “tribal theology, tribal spirituality, and worldview, which are deeply connected to the land and ecosystem and how intrinsically related we are that produce the very base of life.”


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