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Traditional and Biocultural Potential of Toko Plant (Livistona jenkinsiana Griff) in East Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh 

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*Corresponding author:  A.K. Uniyal  

Livistona jenkinsiana 
Adi community 
East Siang 
A brief study was conducted in Mirku, Napit, Balek, and Takilalung villages of  East Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh. The district has diverse forest  ecosystems that provide both economic and social benefits for local people.  Livistona jenkinsiana Griff (locally called Toko by the Adi tribe), is a plant  species that provide both economic and social benefits for the local  community and it also has traditional and cultural significance within the  community. Male and female members engaged in toko plantations were  chosen as the respondents of the study. Using personal interviews;  questionnaire-based data were collected. Based on the village and forest  survey, it was observed that toko in good numbers in varying habitats viz,  jhum lands, morang, home gardens, and around paddy fields. The Adi tribe in  the area planted toko as an agroforestry component. The overall  establishment cost is relatively less compared to other plantations in the  region. (Such as orange and pineapple). Women play a significant role in the  conservation of this species. The number of bio-culturally important products  made out of the leaves and fruits of toko. 


Livistona jenkinsiana Griff is a species of palm of the  family Arecaceae. It was first described by William Griffith  in 1845 from the collection made in 1842 by Major Francis  Jenkins from Nowgaon, Assam; the type specimen is still  available in the National Botanical Garden of Belgium  (Barfod et al., 2010).  

It is a palm with large fan-shaped leaves on spiny petioles,  thereby commonly known as a fan palm. It is very similar  to L. speciosa in its leaves and the downward curving  spines on the petioles of its leaves, but it is distinguished  from this species by its fruit color (laden- blue vs  turquoise-iridescent), by its fruit being wider than long vs  longer than wide, and by the branching of its  infructescence which is to the third- order rather than the  fourth. It is a tall, fan-shaped, singly growing palm, height  of up to 10 meters but at maturity it may reach more than  10 meter.

Leaves palmate, long up to 480 cm, petiole 340  cm tall, blade or lamina size across 250 cm, split after two third distance from the base of lamina, segment number  80 to 94, erect at the apices, lamina externally rounded,  grayish green abaxially, green adaxially, petiole 30cm  thick, 61 cm width, petiole with two types spines along  margins, decreasing in density toward distal end,  arranged alternately with long 30cm tall, after short, 10  cm tall, recurved, tip pointed, both are brown in color. L.  jenkinsiana is a plant of tropical regions, though it can be  grown in more or less frost- free temperate and  subtropical climates. It is found in areas of high rainfall,  which can be with or without a distinct dry season.

Grow  best in a sunny, moist, but well drained position found in  the wild mainly on sandy loam (Sourav et al., 2020). Secondary metabolites such as phenols, flavonoids and  anthocyanins produced in the plants as a part of self  defense from pest and disease attacks, are having various  health benefits. These bio-active compounds are  receiving considerable importance due to their varioushealth benefits such as anti-allergic, anti- carcinogenic,  anti- inflammatory, anti- proliferative, antiviral,  cardioprotective and vasco protective (Bhargav et al.,  2018; Ganeshpurkar and Saluja, 2017). 

Livistona jenkinsiana Griff is an endangered and  threatened species in the Indian continent and globally  too. Livistona species has a wide distribution; distributed  in Africa, South Arabia, South East and Eastern Asia,  Malaysia and Australia, China and Thailand (Barfod et al.,  2010). 

Datta and Rawat (2003) observed foraging of mature fruit  by hornbills in northeast India. More recently, Payum  (2018) in his study found a number of volatile and non volatile compounds from the fruit of Livistona jenkinsiana  Griff with various health benefits. The ethanol extract of  L. jenkinsiana fruit contain forty three compounds out of  which 22 compounds have been reported to be useful  and biologically active against number of health problems  like anticancer, antioxidant, prevention of uric acid  formation etc. Out of the 43 compounds, Trehalose  occupied 40% of the TIC (Total ion chromatogram) peak  area percentage, trehalose is an energy source and also a  protectant against the effects of freezing or dehydration,  an attractive ingredient in food, health and beauty and  pharmaceutical products (Payum, 2018). 

Northeastern region of India is considered one of the  biodiversity hot spots and abode of the Indian cultural  diversity and repository. The tribal people of Arunachal  Pradesh use natural resources in almost all aspects of  their life. For instance, the food they eat is collected from  the forest and the house they stay in is also constructed  by using materials collected from the forests. Livistona  jenkinsiana Griff; an endangered and threatened species  is used in many useful purposes. Such as the use of stalk  as firewood, fencing construction and ropes. Use of trunk  in floor of local house, as the pillar and also in fencing  construction. Fruits consumed raw or cooked (Singh et al. 2020). 

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Figure 1: Livistona jenkinsiana Griff. 

Study area 

The study was carried out in the East Siang district of  Arunachal Pradesh (Figure1), situated at the eastern  foothills of the Himalayas at 155 meters above sea level.  The district lies in the coordinates approximately  between 27°43’’ and 29°20’’ North latitudes and 94°42’’  and 95°35’’ East longitude. East Siang district occupies an  area of 4,005 square kilometers (1,546sq mi). It is  inhabited by the Adi community; the district is a wild  mountainous area and presents a remarkable  topographical variety. (Source: 

year- 2022). 

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Figure 2: Distribution of Species in East Siang district 


The East Siang district has a cold mountainous climate in  the north while a tropical climate exists in the south.  Where winter temperature drops up to 7°C and summer  temperature goes up to 36°C. December and January are  the coldest months and July – August are the hottest  months. The District receives exceptionally heavy  monsoons with an average rainfall of 31.34mm which  equals nearly 25mm a day. (Source: Profile/Arunachal/East%20Siang.pdf- year – 2022).


According to the 2011 census East Siang district has a  population of 99,214. This gives it a ranking of 615th in  India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population  density of 27 inhabitants per square kilometer (70/sq mi).  Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011  was 13.33%. East Siang has a sex ratio of 962 females for  every 1000 males and a literacy rate of 73.54%. (Source: 

year – 2022).  


The topography is characteristically rugged due to lofty,  haphazardly arranged ranges and deep valleys criss crossed by a number of rivers and streams spreading  along the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas to the  western slope of the Potkoi hills and around the huge  valley of mighty river Brahmaputra. (Source: – year – 2022). 


The study was carried out in four villages of East Siang  district, Arunachal Pradesh namely Mirku, Napit, Balek  and Takilalung during 2021-2022, based on the surveys  and questionnaire method in which information provided  by the common local people was collected and further  interpreted. The questions were on the establishment,  management, harvest, capital investment, labour input,  sale and economic returns from the toko plantations. 


The study areas were inhibited by the Adi community, the  community posses a strong base of traditional knowledge  about the forest structure and ecosystem function. The  State’s local communities have a large role to play where  more than 80 percent of forested areas are private lands. Livistona jenkinsiana Griff is known by various names  with local tribals such as, Toko, OW/ Yoak by  Nyishipeople; Taa- ck by Adi tribe; Tokou; Tokouby  Assamese; Talai nyom, Purbong by Lepchasof Sikkim. It is  commonly known as the Assam Fan palm. In the course  of family property sharing, it is taken into account and is  inherited as an ancestral property. 

Distribution and Status of L. jenkinsiana Griff. 

The tree endemic to Northeast India grows up to an  elevation of 1,100m. It is usually encountered in nature in  tropical evergreen forests and sub-tropical broad leaved  forests. Though the species is found almost throughout  Arunachal Pradesh, the larger concentration is towards  the central and eastern parts of the state, particularly in  Upper Subansiri, West Siang, Upper Siang and East Siang  districts (study area).Apart from its natural occurrence (in  morang forest of Adi and other tribes too), it is largely  Cultivated by the local people in their jhum land /  community lands, home Gardens and around paddy  fields. 

As per the survey conducted in the study area the  occurrence of toko in different habitats of the following  villages was found to be; (i) Mirku, 1300 toko trees in  jhumlands, 250 in morang forest, 80 in home gardens and  75 around paddy fields. (ii) Napit, 1700 toko trees in jhumlands, 400 in morang forests, 120 in home gardens  and 90 around paddy fields. (iii) Balek, 3000 toko trees in  jhumlands, 600 in morang forests, 100 in home gardens  and 120 around paddy fields. (iv) Takilalung, 3100 in  jhumlands, 670 in morang forests, 200 in home gardens  and 110 around paddy fields (Figure3). 

Relatively, more number of toko trees were observed in  the jhumlands of Takilalung and Balek villages, because of  the topography of jhum lands, soil fertility and being rural  areas, most of the people were more involved in rural  livelihood activities for their subsistence. Also both the  village territories were larger than the other two villages  viz, Mirku and Napit. The overall status of L. jenkinsiana  Griff in the study area is abundant. 

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Figure 3: Number of Toko trees in studied villages 

Natural Regeneration 

Natural regeneration occurs by means of the seeds.  Profuse regeneration can be seen in the vicinity of mature  fruiting trees along partially open moist slopes. The seeds  fallen over the ground or carried over by birds and  squirrel – like animals or dropped on the soil during winter  months start germinating in good habitats with pre  monsoon showers in April – May and establish to form  plants. However, the survival percentage is very low due  to cattle damage and adverse ecological factors. Despite  this, natural regeneration is usually observed in Morang  forest as gregarious patches.  

Artificial regeneration 

Propagation by seeds is the easiest, cheap and most  conventional method. Seeds can be gathered from during  November – December when they are fully ripe. Freshly  harvested seeds are used for sowing. The seeds are  extracted from fleshy fruits by depulping, or removing the  peal. This can be done manually or fruits can be kept in  water or in soak-pits for a couple of days by which time  slight rooting of fruit peal takes place and then it becomes  easy to remove the peals by gentle mashing and washing.  

Freshly collected seeds are kept in basket wrapped with  banana leaves or ekkam-pat (Phyrium pubinerve) for one  month in order to loosen the tough impermeable seed  coat. It can be otherwise eaten as chutney. Seed coats can  be alternatively loosened by burying in soil wrapped with  gunny bags. 

Generally these seeds are not eaten. The clean seeds are  broadcasted in the jhum field in the Month of April by  using a digging stick (Dao), with a uniform spacing of  about4m.The seeds can be sown in mother beds or  directly in the polythene bags. The seeds should not be  sown too deep in the soil and sowing at 2-3 cm depth is  found to be ideal. Germination takes place after about  50-60 days of sowing. Sometimes germination may get  delayed depending upon the sowing month and winter  severity.

However, by the month of April germination will  take place. Thus, if seeds are sown in December it may  germinate only in April next. Seed germination is up to  90-95% germination. Seedlings can be picked up  sufficiently early in one leaf stage for transplanting them  into polythene bags without causing damage to roots or  adjacent seedlings. After picking out, it is good to give  profuse watering.

The seedlings are initially kept under  shade and watering is done as and when required. A  single watering per day is sufficient. When seedlings get  established in the polybags, after 2-3 months they can be  kept in open beds. Usually, this will be the rainy months  and can thus avoid watering.

Seedlings are comparatively  hardy and devoid of disease and pests. They can,  however, be monitored for weed infestation and cattle  (Mithun, goat and cows) browsing. This initial growth of  seedlings is slow and takes about 12-15 months in the  nursery to attain plantable size (Table1). Similarly,  seedlings can also be obtained and transplanted into  polythene bags from the areas of gregarious  regeneration, where otherwise the seedlings are  destined to die. 

Table 1: Procedure for seed treatment & raising  seedlings 

Seed sown 2-3 cm deep
Germination After 50-60 days
Germination  percentage90-95%
Transfer of seeds to  polythene bagsAfter 2-3 months
Growth of seedling to  plantable size12-15 months

Planting is done when seedlings are about 18 months old  at a spacing of 4m x 4m during May-June with the  beginning of the rainy season. Adi people use closer  spacing up to (2.5 x 2.5m) in hill Slopes when they grow  toko as mono plantation (Table2).

This helps in saving  manpower for watering and also for assuring a better  survival rate. Seedlings can be transplanted in any other  month provided the soil has enough moisture for its  establishment. The pits of 45x45x45 cm in size are made,  weathered and filled with a rich mixture of soil, sand and  farm yard manure at the time of planting (Figure3). After,  planting, it is better to prune some of the basal leaves  which encourages leaf production and reduces  transpiration loss. 

Obnoxious weeds like Mikania, Eupatorium, and  Ageratum etc. tend to over topple the seedlings and  hinder the establishment. Weeding ensure better survival  and growth of plants. It has been observed that trunk  formation starts after 4 years of planting and leaf  production is at a rate of 1-2 leaves per month with an  average of 10-12 leaves a year (Table3). The local practice  of pruning the leaves and splitting the fiber cover helps in  better growth and leaf production. 

Table 2: Plant spacing of toko depending on the nature  of the plantation 

Site Plant spacing Planting  season
Jhumlands (as  mono plantation)2.5m x 2.5m May – June
Jhumlands (as  agroforestry  component)4m x 4m May- June

Table 3: Average leaf production from single toko plant 

Leaf production per month (  single tree)Average leaves a year
1-2 10 – 12

Figure 4: 45 x 45 x 45cm size pith 

Traditional agroforestry 

Toko can also be planted as an agroforestry or shade/  nursery tree species with other crops. It does not produce  much shade as the stem is branchless and leaves occur at  the top only, therefore, seasonal crops and vegetables  can easily be grown below toko trees.  

The Adi tribe in study areas was observed to follow the  following agroforestry combination with the toko Tree:  toko + ginger, toko + tea, toko+ orange (toko is taken as  living fence crop), toko + tuber crops engin and singe engin (sweet potato and tapioca) and t oko + maize (for initial 4-5 years) Table4. 

At the time of establishing jhum lands, after the slash and burn of the forest, the first plantations of toko around the  boundary of the field and in between as intercrop is also  made. Following these traditional models of agroforestry,  farmers are able to utilize the available spaces in between  the two trees of toko. These models are adopted  according to the slope of topography, nature of crops  (shade loving) and the basic needs of the farmers. Usually  in first 6 years of new jhum land establishment, crops  intercropping are followed more.  

Table 4: Traditional Agro-forestry components with  Toko. 

Toko +Ginger
Tuber crops; engine & Singe- engine  (sweet potato and Tapioca).
Leafy vegetables.

Manure and fertilizers 

Application of organic manure like oil cake dust, bone meal and fish meal are useful for hastening seedling  growth. It decomposes slowly in the soil releasing the  essential nutrients to growing plants for longer periods.  Well rotten cow dung is also good manure but too much  use of this manure is harmful and it invites termites and  other pests. The manure should be applied before the  growing season, i.e., at the end of colder months or just  before the monsoon. 

Plantation Cost 

The overall establishment cost is relatively less as  compared to other plantation establishments in the  region (such as orange and pineapple). Seedlings may be  collected from the natural stands or can be obtained from  the fruits sold in the local markets at the rate of Rs. 50, 5  portions of such fruits gives sufficient seeds for establishing plantation of 1 acre. For planting an acre of  plantation 3 laborers employed for Rs.600/day.

The  plantation requires weed management 3-4 times a year  for which 4 laborers employed at the rate of 400 (Table5). 

Table 5: Estimates of Total Establishment Cost of toko  plantation (in Rs/Acre) 

Nature of Costs Estimated cost (in  Rupees) 
Seedling Cost 300
Plantation weed 6400
management Plantation Cost1800
Total establishment Cost8500

Cow dung is preferred for manure if required; cow dung  worth Rs. 100 is enough for 1 acre of plantation. At the  time of harvest 3 laborers employed at the rate of  Rs.600/day. Transportation cost of leaves to the market  @ Rs.1200, the average cost of operation and  maintenance incurred per acre is shown in Table 6. 

Table 6: Average cost of operational and maintenance  incurred per Acre 

S.No Nature of Cost Amount (in Rupees). 
1. Total Labour cost 3,400
1a. Harvest & collection 1800
1b. Plantation weed  1600management 
2. Manures & fertilizers 100
3. Transport Costs 1200
Total costs 4,700

Pests and diseases  

Generally, no serious pests or diseases have been  observed in the toko plant. However, some Insects attack  the green leaves and fruits of the plants sporadically in  some localities. 

Sometimes, borer attack is seen in older stems which can  be controlled by spraying insecticides. The major problem  faced in establishing the plantation is cattle grazing/  browsing particularly by Mithun. 


The fan-shaped leaves are harvested from a mature tree.  Generally, while harvesting, only 2-3 leaves are left in the  palm excluding the tender leaves. It is harvested after the full moon to avoid termite and pest attack. There is a  popular belief among Adisthat the pre full moon days are  not good for harvesting as those harvested will be  vulnerable to pest attack and cause damage to the trees. 

The leaves are harvested on every alternate year.  Generally, harvesting of toko at large scale is done by the  indigenous institution called Mila. Male harvests the  leaves, while female after making the bundles skillfully  carry it. In this institution, male members of close  relatives assembled together and help to toko plants  owner for harvesting leaves and carrying it. 

Drying and curing of leaves 

After harvesting, the petioles of leaves are cut off leaving  a small portion intact with the leaf blade then both the  right and left flanks are folded to the same side of the  leaf, arranged systematically, and stacked to dry. Over  each stack some weight is given at the top to cure it and  prevent it from crumpling during drying. 

It is kept as long as the leaves turn completely brown only  then it is used for roofing. 

Economics of Toko leaves 

The leaves are bundled and traded. Generally, each  bundle has 40-45 leaves and sold or bartered with other  tribes. In the villages, 50 leaves of toko are sold at Rs 70- 90, while same numbers after trading in nearby local  market (like Pasighat), the toko owners sale it in Rs 150- 200 (Table 7).A single leaf may vary from Rs 2-6  depending upon conditions of market and season of  leaves availability. 

Table 7: Price of toko leaves bundle in village & local  market 

Leaves per  bundlePrice in  villagesPrice in local  market
40-50 Rs.70-90 Rs. 150-200

Good yield can be obtained for up to 35-40 years. The  older palms bear small-sized leaves and it becomes  difficult and risky to climb the older trees for the  collection of leaves. Therefore, older trees are removed  by felling.  

The Adi community have experienced that the  productivity of toko leaves is found always better in the  Jhum land than in home gardens and around the paddy  field. In the ideal situation, from 625 tree plants/ha, 10  leaves and a total 6,250 can be harvested. After  deducting the labor and transportation charges, the net  benefit is obtained every alternate year which may  continue for over 30 years (Table 8). Additional income  can be obtained by the sale of seeds and seedlings. 

Table 8: Leaves harvested per hectare in the ideal  situation 

Toko  plant/  ha.No. of leaves  harvested  per treeTotal  harvested  leaves per  hectareYears of  production
625 10 6250 30 years.

Biocultural uses 

A number of products are made out of toko leaves and  fruits, which had great cultural, food and Livelihoods  values for Adi tribe. Using tender leaves of Toko, Botok  (rain cover) is made. Botok is used to cover the back  during the rainy season in fields, fishing etc. Botari (cap)  is worn during ploughing of fields. The basket like item is  also made from the leaves of toko. 

The leaves are an integral part of using them to pack the  meat and wild games during the special occasions like  Solung, Etor and Aran festivals of Adi. The petioles are  used in making mat. 

Using leaves of toko, Hut (chang ghar) and Poyup (small  hut in jhum land) are made. Leaves are used after proper  drying as a roofing material for local houses. The leaves  of kitchen room are said to last for 10 years or so, while  leaves of other rooms for 4-5 years. 

Leaves are used for covering tops of doolies (palanquins)  and boats and making hand fans. Mid rib of the leaves is  used to make coarse broom. Plants are largely used in  nursery as overhead shade. The leaves are also used as  the item to cover the burial places, and the store bin of  community grain banks. These palms are also planted as  an ornamental and avenue plants. Fibrous sheaths are  used for making ropes; for making winter resistant shields  for shoulder bags (tali). New soft shoots are sometimes  eaten as vegetables. Pericarp of ripe fruits, which are blue  in colour are eaten raw or as salad. Fruits are also used  after the fermentation as chutney. 

Dried peel of fruit contain good amount of oil and thus  powder is now being used as mixing Items with the leaves  of ongerc (Zanthoxylum rhetsa), ongoing (Clerodendrum  colebrookianum), and bangko (Solanum spirale) to use as  chutney. Nut is edible and used as masticator; as a  substitute for areca nut. The cut stems are used as  temporary log bridges to cross over village streams and  as posts of temporary structures. 

Gender, conservation, and knowledge variability 

From seed collection to the plantation of toko, women  play a pivotal role and contribute 80-95%. Only in those  practices, where hard physical labor is required male folk  contribute from 60%. As per the survey conducted in the  study area, the contribution of men and women was observed as, Seed collection (female-83%, male- 17%),  seed soaking (female- 90%, male- 10%),nursery  preparation (female-80%, male-20%),seed sowing  (female- 95%, male- 5%), nursery care (female-82%,  male- 18%), transplanting (female- 83%, male-17%),  plantation (female-79%, male-21%), training & pruning  (female-23%, male-77%), harvesting (female-20%, male 80%), curing of leaves (female-35%, male-65%), trading &  marketing (female-85%, male-15%) (Figure5).

This shows  that women of Adi community have a significant role in  the Conservation of toko tree populations. Males harvest  the leaves from the toko tree, while females carry the  load of bundles of Toko leaves. It could be learned that  except for the practices of training and pruning of trees,  harvesting skills of leaves and curing the leaves for use,  women were significantly higher in all the toko related  practices. Further, there was a difference in the  knowledge of young, middle and old aged Adi community  members on the conservation practices relating to the  toko tree. It indicates that elders of the Adi community  have more knowledge about toko tree which is helpful in  conservation of this tree species. 

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Figure 5: Gender role in conservation of toko tree 


Arunachal Pradesh, being the largest state of Northeast  India, harbours great number of plant species that are  endemic to the region. The diversity and endemism of the  state have kept in the category of biodiversity hot-spot.  Though in the recent past in the Red Data Book of Indian  plants (1987) a number of plant species are being listed  as rare, endangered and threatened species because of  increasing threats from anthropogenic and other natural  factors. In the list of threatened species, L. jenkinsiana  Griff has also been mentioned. However, as per the  survey conducted in the study area, it was observed that  

there is no dearth of toko plants population. It can be  endangered and threatened in other regions like Assam,  but not in Arunachal Pradesh according to the study. Singh et al. (2010) observed that toko is good in numbers  in jhum lands, Morang, home gardens and around paddy  fields, conserved by the adi community in East Siang  District, Arunachal Pradesh by adopting closer plant  spacing (2.5x 2.5m) in hill slopes when they grow toko as  mono plantation. However, based on our village and  forest survey in the study area it was found that some  plantations had wider plant spacing varying up to 4  meters.

The present survey of the study area found active  participation and contribution of women in toko  plantation in number of practices such as seed collection,  seed sowing, planting, curing of leaves, trading and  marketing shows that our observations are in line with  the earlier observations made by Singh et al., 2010. In the  year 2009-2010, L. jenkinsiana Griff was one of the major  food items for the Asiatic black bear cubs (Dasgupta et al.,  2015). 

In the present study, it was observed that toko being a  multipurpose tree has a variety of use and plays an  integral role in the tribal Adi community, from the use of  leaves as thatching material , fruits, fibers, ropes, fire woods,  different products such as; hand fans, mats, Botari,  Botok, tali and cultural significance too.

It provides  income generation to the toko planters by selling the  leaves in nearby local markets, like Pasighat. After  harvesting, the leaves are arranged systematically and  stacked to dry. Once the leaves have dried properly they  are bundled and traded, each bundle has 40-45 leaves  and is sold for Rs.150-20, which is at par with regarding  the toko plant being an integral part of the Adi tribe  earlier observed by Singh et al., 2010. 

As per a survey conducted in the study area, it was  observed that the survival percentage of naturally  regenerating seeds was very low due to cattle damage  and adverse ecological factors. However, natural  regeneration was observed in morang forest as  gregarious patches. Also, toko is planted as an  agroforestry tree species with other crops, less manure  is required and generally, no serious pests and diseases  were observed this concedes with the earlier  observations made by Singh et al. (2010). 


Toko is a multipurpose tree; a number of products are  made out of its leaves and fruits, which have great  cultural, food and livelihood values for the Adi tribe. It  finds its habitat in jhum lands, Morang forest (broad  leaved forest) and to some extent in the home gardens under subtropical climate. The seeds of toko are  dispersed and carried over by the squirrels and birds. Due  to the damage caused by animals in the seeds, the natural  germination percentage is relatively low. However,  germination is maintained by the Adi tribe through its  traditional treatment after pruning in ekkam leaves. 

Apart from monoculture, the conservation of toko is  encouraged by adopting the traditional agroforestry  models by the Adi tribe. The higher plant population was  observed in jhum land, because of its good productivity  and people’s preference according to the topography as  well as toko has been observed to be a cross-culturally important species and an integral part of Adi tribe. 

Though inputs required for conservation promotion of  toko are learned to be very less, however, the net income  is of considerable percentage but not competitive in  comparison to other cash crops. Because of labour intensive jobs required for generating incomes from toko,  younger people do not prefer to plant the took. 

Therefore, more people are interested in planting high cash cropssuch as oranges, pineapple, and others to have  more economic gain. This discourages the conservation  intensity of the toko tree. The conservation of Toko on an  individual level and decreasing percentage of collective  management seem to be caused by the disintegration of  joint family to nuclear family and aggravated by the  privatization of natural resources among the Adi tribe. 

However, the conservation of toko in Morang forest  provides a permanent reservoir for the use of its genetic  resource to multiply later on in emergency conditions.  The conservation of toko is primarily done by the women  folk and variability in the knowledge required for it was  noticed across the ages. Many studies indicate that  indigenous institutions (kebang), traditional knowledge  (TK), and TK nurturing institutions play a significant role  in the conservation of indigenous biodiversity.


Toko is a bio-culturally important tree species and is being  conserved across habitats and cultures. There is no  dearth of the plant population of Toko in the study areas.  It can be endangered and threatened in other regions like  Assam, but not in Arunachal Pradesh.  

The community with their TK and indigenous institutions  (kebang) conserves this tree species at a large scale since  it is an integral part of their life support system. Special  attention is required to integrate the younger generation  of the community with their better incentives so that the  conservation intensity of Toko could be improvised at a  larger scale. Further, the community needs training and  research support on toko to enhance the plant  population, but it is only possible when toko is well  integrated with its rational use through value addition in  its products (handicrafts, house construction material,  

food products from fruits etc.), proper market channels  and controlled harvesting. There might be few biological  threats against this species that need to be studied  further to understand the complete status and issues  around toko tree species in Arunachal Pradesh. 


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