Hato ngi bam ka bam ba dap biang? (Khasi Article)

Fellows walk away with unparalleled knowledge and experiences

After a fruitful Fellowship programme, the Fellows bid goodbye to Rome and head back to their communities with unforgettable memories, knowledge and experiences.

A couple of months back, four Fellows, from 3 different countries, representing 4 different matrifocal communities, embarked on a journey of sharing their indigenous stories and learning about tools for the revitalisation of their communities and indigenous food systems. Aided by TIP’s Youth Fellowship Programme, the Fellows gained unique international and intercultural experiences and skills to add to their profiles.


We work to prevent the disappearance of our local food and its culture and we recognise the importance of Agrobiodiversity and food sovereignty of communities to defend what they grow , what they eat and what they market.

We need a cadre of young people who are committed to work for communities and we need to build their skills in traditional and contemporary knowledge approaches.

As we try to combine traditional and modern knowledge systems, we need to be able to think creatively and promote innovations.

10th July, 2019

Gen-Y of matriarchal societies to shape and revitalise their Indigenous Food Systems

As part of the Fellowship Programme, on 10th July, 2019, the Fellows visited the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in Rome, to share their case studies about renewal and enhancement of their indigenous food systems, which they formulated with the help of the training they received over 2 months. Owing to the uniqueness of a matriarchal society, the German Room at the FAO Headquarters was fully packed with participants from Bioversity International, FAO and IFAD, to learn about the Fellows’ case studies. FAO representatives from the Embassies of New Zealand, Norway, and Hungary came to specially listen to the presentations.

Another milestone for the TIP Youth Fellowship Programme

“The Fellows of the TIP Youth Fellowship Programme of 2019 have made me immensely proud by their outstanding performance. At FAO, on the concluding day of the Fellowship, the German Room was packed with Bioversity, FAO and IFAD staff and representatives from New Zealand, Norway and Hungary, where the Fellows, Nofri Yani, Merrysha Nongrum, Chenxiang Marak and Edgar Monte presented their case studies. In the presence of those high ranking organisations, Jeff Campbell, a Senior FAO Staff, said “It was the best technical session in FAO in 2019!”

All this is credited to the hardwork put in by the Fellows, and the constant revisions and rehearsals guided by the TIP mentors Lukas Pawera, Bhogtoram Mawroh and Pius Ranee. All this would not have been possible without their meticulous support and long hours of burning midnight oil. I wish to thank them all.

The hard work and thoroughness with which Pius prepared the daily summary of each session along with the support of the Fellows speaks highly of his passion, discipline and capability. Well done Pius, and thank you. The Fellows have not only learnt, but also improved and honed their skills as individuals.

NESFAS too played a major role in the success of The Indigenous Partnership Fellowship Programme”

-Phrang Roy, Coordinator, TIP

8th July, 2019

A day at the WFP Headquarters: Fellows gain insights about nutrition in conflict-ridden areas

The Fellows visited the World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters to have a closer look at the work done by WFP  and to understand how humanitarian UN Agencies like the WFP work in disaster prone and conflict-ridden areas. At WFP, they met Uma Thapa, Senior Government Partnership Officer, who briefly described the different activities carried out by WFP, particularly in the area of nutrition.

5th July, 2019

The Fellows formulated community-specific work plans based on the VIPP methodology

Learning through personal experiences and resources always goes down better as compared to a one-way training. Over the span of 2 days, VIPP facilitator and trainer,  Timmi Tillmann, interacted with the Fellows and trained them on the Visualisation in Participatory Programme (VIPP) via exercises that involved Fellows sharing their individual experiences and knowledge. This was then used to formulate work plans for indigenous food systems, specific to the Fellows’ respective communities. The interactive and fun learning session made it easier for the Fellows to learn about the concept of VIPP facilitation and introduce it into their work plans.

3rd July, 2019

Designing a roadmap to funding with the aid of the concept of systems thinking

Over the 3-day long session, the Fellows were oriented on the concept of system thinking and logframe training that they can take back to their respective communities, to design impactful roadmaps which would generate funding. Essentially, the aim of the session was to train the Fellows to put down their ideas in such a manner that they get due recognition and funds required to bring those ideas into execution, which would aid in bringing about positive changes in their communities.

28th June, 2019

Day 8 in Rome: Fellows learn the value chain approach to promote NUS products

Through the sessions that took place on 28th June at Bioversity International, the Fellows were informed about the benefits of NUS through market surveys and case studies of success stories in Mexico and Peru. They were also introduced to the barrier analysis methodology and holistic value chain approach, especially while promoting neglected and underutilised species.

27th June, 2019

Day 7 in Rome: The Fellows are inundated about indigenous peoples’ rights

To make sure that the Fellows learn about the importance of rights of indigenous people and exercise them in their communities, the sessions held on 27th June at Bioversity International, mainly focused at better understanding farmers’ rights, particularly rights of indigenous peoples, but were explained to the Fellows through varied perspectives and initiatives.

26th June, 2019

Day 6 in Rome: Fellows identify around 12 wild edible plants during an ABD walk

On 26th June, 2019, the Fellows, along with their new found friends in Rome, went for an agrobiodiversity walk to Giulianello which is 51 kms away from Rome. This session was specifically designed as part of the training session under the leadership of Martina, who is working at Bioversity International. Iseno Tamburlani, a knowledge holder of Giulianello took the team for a walk into their landscapes. During the walks, they identified around 12 wild edible plants.

25th June, 2019

Day 5 in Rome: Sharing session on Neglected and Underutilised Species (NUS) and Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN)

A sharing session on Neglected and Underutlised Species (NUS) and Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) was held on 25th June at Bioversity International, Rome, to learn how to identify and promote neglected and underutilised species with focus on nutrition.

24th June, 2019

Day 4 in Rome: Session on landscape approaches for biodiversity conservation and livelihoods improvements

As part of the Fellowship programme, Fellows were asked to profile their own indigenous food systems before they come for the training both in India and Rome. While conducting this exercise, one of the tools that they applied was to make a village map that enabled them to understand the different land use systems. In the process, Fellows found it quite difficult to make an assessment of their own indigenous food systems whether their systems are resilient enough or not in the face of climate change. Therefore, the workshop that was held on 24th June 2019 was useful for the Fellows as they were able to learn the different indicators of Resilience in Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes (SEPLs) which they can go back to their own respective communities and start having a dialogue with the communities.

22nd June, 2019

Day 3 in Rome: Fellows visit the Campagna Amica farmers’ market

With the support of new found friends in Bioversity International: Martina, Eliot and Arturo, the TIP Fellows visited a Farmers’ Market in the heart of Rome, Italy on 22nd June, 2019. Promoted by Coldiretti, Fondazione Campagna Amica was founded in 2008. Its main aim is to promote direct selling of local and seasonal food products by farmers.

21st June, 2019

Day 2 in Rome: TIP and Procasur explore possibilities of a future collaboration

The 2nd day of the TIP Youth Fellowship programme in Rome was highlighted by the visit to the IFAD Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The Fellows got a chance to interact with and learn from the initiatives of Procasur while they also gained ideas from NESFAS’ work that they can execute back in their communities.

20th June, 2019

Day 1: The Fellows visit Bioversity International


Sadhana Forest Reforestation Project by Arturo Turillazzi, from Italy, MSc Human Development and Food Security.

Short brief on Bioversity by Elisabetta Gotor, Head of Development Impact Unit

Matriarchal society by Violet Black, from Malawi, MSc in Human Development and Food Security

In situ conservation and management of plant genetic diversity in indigenous land use systems of the Teenek in the Huasteca Potosina by Claudia Heindorf, Phd student

19th June, 2019

The Fellows proceed to Rome for the 2nd leg of the Youth Fellowship 2019

After an insightful stay in Meghalaya, the Fellows proceeded to Rome for the 2nd half of the TIP Youth Fellowship programme. On reaching Rome, the Fellows visited the Bioversity International office where they were briefed about the Fellowship programme by Phrang Roy, Coordinator, TIP and Andrea Selva, Managing Consultant, TIP, Bioversity International.

30th May, 2019

TIP Fellows 2019 exchange ideas during a three-day work retreat at Meghalaya

The TIP Fellows 2019 joined the NESFAS Team and partners SSC (Social Service Centre) and SURE (Society for Urban and Rural Empowerment) that came together to share updates, ideas, local solutions and knowledge at a three-day retreat

25th May, 2019

TIP Fellows visit Garo Hills, Meghalaya

TIP Fellows Chenxiang Marak and Edgar Osvaldo, accompanied by Lukas Pawera, visited the Garo hills today. They first observed the diversity sold at the local market and later car-climbed to Dare Chikgre village, where they collected samples of food plants during an agrobiodiversity walk. Successively, they named the plants and performed a categorisation exercise (grouping plants into local categories). The concept of Dietary Diversity was explained, followed by which the plants were further categorised into the Dietary Diversity categories. The categorisation exercise helped the group to realise the difference in local views and standard food grouping.

Later, the conditions and plans for setting up a seed bank were analysed. Lastly, the group had a discussion about the sustainability of harvesting wild plant resources. This was accompanied by open discussions, pictures and listing of the wonderful food that could be served at a future planned Mei-Ramew cafe.

20th May, 2019

NESFAS inaugurates the 2nd edition of the TIP Youth Fellowship Programme

Meghalaya welcomed indigenous youth from around the world for The Indigenous Partnership (TIP) Youth Fellowship Programme 2019. The North-East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS), their local partner, who is hosting the first leg of the programme organised an introductory gathering with its team.

17th May, 2019

Interaction and cultural diversity: Key drivers of the Fellowship Programme

Lukas PaweraPh.D. student at the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences of the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, who trained the Fellows on Ethnobotany during the TIP Youth Fellowship Programme 2017, shares his experience and takeaways from the Programme.

6th May, 2019

The TIP Youth Fellowship Programme:
A tool of empowerment for the youth

Pius Ranee, Associate, NESFAS, and Fellow at the TIP Youth Fellowship Programme 2017, shares his experiences from the pilot Programme of the TIP Youth Fellowship in 2017. Through this interview, he highlights what he gained from the Fellowship Programme and what future Fellows and youth can look forward to.

18th March, 2019

Māori leaders stand with the Muslims upon the Christchurch shooting tragedy

We know this suffering, this extremism born of racial supremacy, this theft of identity. Send your community our aroha (love) and that we will together prevail over this hate and racism in Aotearoa. It doesn’t belong in Aotearoa. We fight it every day and we vow to fight it even more. We want to stand together with our Muslim brothers and sisters and denounce this clearly as an extreme form, the racism that is actually prevalent across our land.

We will continue to struggle for peace and justice in Aotearoa and offer our deep heartfelt sympathy for your pain.
To be clear, we will not accept this as an insult to mental health or an isolated crazy-man.

Hatred is promoted, tolerated and disseminated in this country everyday and our work against it is labelled as waste of time by many people in charge of this country. We face hostility every time we go out to struggle for peace and justice.

We vow to continue our struggle. Our deepest sympathy and love to your whanau and community.

Lastly, we plea to all your people young and old to stand hopeful that we will overcome these oppressive and racist forces in our land. Retain your hope, your mana and your well-being.

Mauri ora

8th March, 2019

Women's Day 2019

“We at NESFAS and The Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty (TIP) acknowledge and therefore promote communities and societies that have been founded on the matriarchal values of nurturing, sharing, non-violent social structures and gender equality. We believe that such communities and societies have traditionally championed sustainable and eco-friendly approaches to food, agriculture and the well being off all. Their traditional values still offer the best basis to promote local and global peace and justice but are unfortunately being marginalised by the current dominant values of patriarchal societies”.

Phrang Roy,


Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty

7th March, 2019

NESFAS to foster a glocal partnership by hosting the TIP Fellowship Programme 2019

Subsequent to the success of the Indigenous Youth Fellowship Programme in 2017, NESFAS, a local indigenous organisation, will host the programme for 2019 while bearing most of the cost of this hosting locally and nationally, making it a truly local-global partnership building initiative for indigenous communities.

The pilot programme aimed at creating a platform for exchange among young minds from indigenous communities and syncing them to world views and actions, while maintaining their identities.



Our festivals, researches and programs are a medium to capture the rooted stories of indigenous people.  We share this rich narrative and invite your journey too.


Save the date! We are building a calendar of world events that influence and are influenced in turn by the indigenous think tank. Follow and mark this calendar.


The indigenous world is rich with festivals and ceremonies that celebrate and earmark significant aspects of mother earth in different parts of the world. We invite your contributions to this rich harvest.

Communities reached
TIP Family