Traditional knowledge on Nicobari aloo (Dioscorea alata L.) among Nicobaritribal community of Car Nicobar Island, India


Vijayan, Damodaran ; Augustine Jerard, B ; Kumar Pandey, Sanjay ; George, Zachariah ; Singh, SK ; Jaisankar, I ; Singh, LB ; George, James ; Sunitha, S


Nicobarese, the dominant tribe of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, rely on coconut-based cropping systems and fishingfor livelihood. The Nicobari aloo (Dioscorea alata) is valued staple food crop for the community. Diverse types ofDioscorea alata are conserved in different parts of the islands. The acquired knowledge on this food crop over thegenerations is vital for the sustenance. The Nicobarese live in joint family system called “Tuhet” which share land, coconutpalms, tuber crops and livestock. Each tuhet cultivates different varieties of Nicobari aloo along with other crops. It wasobserved and documented that this tribe cultivate Nicobari aloo in traditional way even at present, as natural/organic farmingpractices without using fertilisers and chemicals. The community makes away of preparations of Nicobari aloo tubers forregular consumption as well as during village festivals. This paper documents the traditional knowledge of the tribe on thistuber species, varieties, cultivation and utilisation.


Dioscorea alata; Farm fencing; Nicobari tribe; Nicobari Aloo; PIC numbers; Tuhet farming; Traditional Knowledge

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