Soligas are the indigenous people of the Malé Mahadeswara Reserve Forest (MM hills), Karnataka. They traditionally depended on minor forest produce, subsistence agriculture and bamboo crafts to earn a livelihood. Rainfall variability, resource depletion and restrictions on traditional (bamboo) resource use has led to marginalisation and increased vulnerability.

A team of researchers at ATREE zeroed in on Lantana as a possible substitute to bamboo to sustain their livelihoods. Lantana camara is an invasive shrub originally from Latin America, introduced as an ornamental plant in 1807. It has since invaded all possible habitats in India and poses a huge threat to native biological diversity. It has invaded most parts of the MM Hills forests.

The logic behind this intervention: when one can not control proliferation of Lantana, why not make use of it? With this idea in mind, researchers at ATREE developed appropriate technology, studied market needs and designed products to meet the demand. The emphasis is on product value addition and customized products.

ATREE is facilitating the marketing of these crafts, linking tribal artisans with the market. ATREE is a non-profit organisation and these web pages are meant to introduce customers to Lantana the various products available. All transactions should be made with the Lantana Craft Centre.

Thank you for supporting a good cause. By purchasing Lantana crafts from MM Hills you are enhancing the livelihoods of poor forest dwellers and also contributing to the control of an invasive and restoration of native biological diversity.