Kokum Threatened With Extinction By The Year 2025, Study Reveals

The deep maroon coloured tropical fruit – kokum – has been deemed to become a rare or extinct phenomenon by the year 2025. In a study conducted by Tokyo University in 2017, in collaboration with JNU and GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development mentioned that the souring agent used as a staple along the western ghats is exposed to threat from climate change, thus impacting the yield as well as the revenue generated by a single ingredient in the region.

The ongoing climate crisis and its increasing effects is said to leave 82.6% of land in the states of South Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka unfit for kokum cultivation over the next few years, impacting distribution and consumption. Considered to be an excellent digestive and coolant for the summers, kokum is used extensively to make curry bases, sol kadhi as well as pickles. While the study had initially predicted the extinction by 2050, the accelerated damage to the environment led it to being listed as a ‘threatened’ species by the Botanical Survey of India.

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In a statement issued by JNU’s lead author and PhD scholar, Malay Pramanik back in 2017, he said that, “In recent years, climate change has become a major threat and has been widely documented in the geographic distribution of many plant species. However, the impacts of climate change on the distribution of ecologically vulnerable medicinal species, such as Garcinia indicia, remains largely unknown.” While state governments had promised to fix the crisis by implementing new systems that aren’t as much of a negative impact on the ecosystem, no actionable plan has been formulated so far.