Crisis Looms for Eenthu Pana in Kerala as Disease Threatens Extinction

Crisis Looms for Eenthu Pana in Kerala as Disease Threatens Extinction

Cycas circinalis, known as Eenthu Pana in Kerala, faces extinction in the northern part of the state due to an unidentified and rapidly spreading plant disease. The lack of a focused research and action plan exacerbates the situation.

The Perspective of Tribal Communities

K. Mohini, a tribal woman from Kozhikode’s Vilangad village, highlights the significance of Eenthu Pana in her community. She emphasizes its nutritional value and medicinal properties, expressing concern over the declining population of these trees.

Cultural and Medicinal Significance

Mohini mentions the traditional uses of Eenthu seeds in dishes and its medicinal benefits, particularly its role as a dietary supplement for diabetics. Traditional dishes like Payasam, steam cake, Eenthu gruel, and Eenthu Pidi rely on this plant.

Distribution and Cultivation Challenges

Agricultural experts note the presence of Eenthu Pana in specific districts of Kerala and neighboring states. However, cultivation is limited due to the long gestation period for fruiting (40 to 50 years), requiring interventions such as hybrid plants and improved agricultural techniques.

Calls for Action

Local farmers advocate for initiatives to conserve Eenthu Pana, urging government intervention or farmer consortiums to recognize its importance and initiate conservation efforts.

Disease Affliction and Lack of Research

The disease affecting Eenthu Pana primarily impacts trees in northern Kerala, with a lack of serious research or field-level studies hindering conservation efforts. Farmers report unsuccessful attempts to engage the Agriculture department in addressing the issue.

Case Studies

Individual farmers like C.V. Moideen highlight the loss of Eenthu trees on their land and express disappointment over the lack of support from agricultural authorities. Despite challenges, some trees in the region, like those belonging to Thottathil Moosa, have managed to survive.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ):

  1. What is the popular name of Cycas circinalis in Kerala?
    • A) Eenthu Pidi
    • B) Eenthu Pana
    • C) Vilangad Village
    • D) Koombara Village
    • Answer: B) Eenthu Pana
  2. What is the main concern expressed by K. Mohini regarding Eenthu Pana?
    • A) Lack of rainfall
    • B) Rapid growth rate
    • C) Threat of extinction due to disease
    • D) Excessive harvesting
    • Answer: C) Threat of extinction due to disease
  3. Which agricultural technique is suggested to improve the cultivation of Eenthu Pana?
    • A) Pesticide application
    • B) Crop rotation
    • C) Hybrid plants
    • D) Soil erosion control
    • Answer: C) Hybrid plants
  4. What intervention is proposed by local farmers to conserve Eenthu Pana?
    • A) Importing seeds
    • B) Forming farmer consortiums
    • C) Increasing deforestation
    • D) Abandoning cultivation
    • Answer: B) Forming farmer consortiums
  5. What challenge hinders conservation efforts for Eenthu Pana?
    • A) Lack of interest from farmers
    • B) Rapid growth rate
    • C) Disease affliction
    • D) Excessive rainfall
    • Answer: C) Disease affliction