The second edition of the Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) festival, where the importance of local indigenous food systems will be highlighted, will kick off at Mawphlang near Shillong on 3rd November.
The Terra Madre is a network of food communities, organizations and experts committed to defining their own food and agricultural practices that sustain agro-biodiversity, assisted by scientists and policy researchers who value participatory agricultural research approaches.
North East Slow Food and Agro-biodiversity Society (NESFAS) chairman Phrang Roy told the media in Shillong: ‘The local food system here is extremely important in terms of our well-being,’
A study on the ‘nutritional status of families’, conducted by the Centre for Indigenous People’s Nutrition and Environment of McGill University in Canada in the Lyngngam area of matrilineal Meghalaya, the US and Thailand, will also be presented during the five-day ITM.
As part of the preparation, a group has been engaged to train local communities to record some of their activities through ‘community filmmaking’. ‘Their stories are already on YouTube and we hope to share these as part of the conference by having a film festival,’ Roy said and added that the ITM will also act as a platform to boost tourism awareness in the state.
Stating that about 500-600 delegates will participate in the event, Roy said the main languages that will be spoken during the conferences are English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Khasi, Hindi and Garo.
Lauding the support extended by the Meghalaya Government and Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, he said, ‘Through this initiative, we will come to know about some of the leading thoughts from around the world and put Meghalaya and our ways of living on the world map.’