Making of the Digital Library
This Digital Library is a unique collection of images and information pertaining to samples of wild edible plants and mushrooms collected by TERI. The coastal areas along the Western Ghats of Maharashtra are regarded as biodiversity hotspot. Sacred groves of the region further ensure that these local species are conserved by the communities through generations and hence are indeed the greatest treasure inherited from forefathers.
TERI has collected the plant and mushroom species from in and around areas of sacred groves, nearby villages and forest areas. The main steps of the process are given below.
- Transect walk through open terrain, fields, forest area, fringe, village outskirts.
- Identification of plants with the help of field guide and botanists.
- Microscopic observation of mushroom mycelium, spores
- Molecular taxonomy- ITS based identification
Isolation & long term preservation of pure mushroom cultures
- Isolation of mushroom cultures from the inner tissue of cap/stipe and or spore print
- Preparation of herbaria, spore prints and Interaction with users like tribals, villagers, medicine men from villages to document facts, applications, method of usage, history and so on.
- Digital photographs
- Estimation of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, moisture, phenols, flavenoids, vitamins and micro nutrients
- Validation of information with the published scientific data sourced from reports, patents, books and so on.
- Compilation of ethnic knowledge, digital photographs, information about edible parts, methods of usage, related patents, publications and interesting facts.
India has a vast repository of traditional knowledge which has unfortunately not been put to optimum utilization due to fragmented availability of this knowledge and a general lack of awareness and interest regarding the same.
The digital library will simplify the way in which people can access information regarding wild edibles and their availability, while promoting the consumption of wild edibles to strengthen nutritional security. The domestication and mass cultivation of wild edibles will also help in creating an additional sustainable source of livelihood along with a host of other applications, some of which have been listed below:
|To bridge gaps in traditional knowledge||
|For nutritional and medicinal significance||
|To promote mass cultivation and providing additional livelihood options for tribals||
|To conserve bio-diversity||
|To better adapt to climatic stresses and shocks||