Old seed festival “a wonderful example of community and NGOs participation” – Andhra Pradesh

If we are to halt the destruction of ecosystems, we need to understand how closely biodiversity and cultural diversity are intertwined. Perhaps it is time to reverse the gaze and begin to learn afresh from Adivasis.

Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021) | More about the role of tribal communities in preserving India’s biodiversity and ethnobotany >

Old seed festival, being organised by Sajeevani in association with Samata and CRYNET, is a wonderful example of community and NGOs participation which ensures that farmers get quality seed, said Principal Scientist of National Bureau of Plant Gentic Resource’s Regional Centre at Hyderabad B. Sarath Babu about the programme held at Panasavalasa, 25 km from here on Saturday.

Efforts being made for the last 18 years have resulted in farmers of this area regularly going to markets in Visakhapatnam, said Ravi Rebbapragada, executive director of Samata, an NGO, who has done a lot of work in the area to empower the local Girijans. He urged the tribal people, who are an enterprising lot, to work as a cooperative since the Savva panchayat area, under which falls Panasavalasa, has good potential to grow many kinds of crops. Coffee and pepper too can be taken up, he said. In the past, farmers of this area contributed Rs. 6 lakh to which Rs. 3.5-lakh subsidy from ITDA was added to purchase a van to transport vegetables to Visakhapatnam.

Mr. Ravi felt that the older generation Girijans do not know much of law, procedure and the weight a written word carries and wanted the educated younger generation to concentrate their efforts on these issues and help the community.

Pandoi Routh, former president of Vegetable Growers’ Association, wanted the younger generation to change as it was giving more importance to consumerism, which was not right since the Girijans were surviving by following traditional farming methods. […]

Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samudha Organic Producers Company (Bangalore) felt that farmers must market their products on their own since the paddy they grow have curative qualities. They must mill the paddy and sell rice to retain its quality. He was happy that many old varieties were continuing here. […]

The ninth edition of the old seed festival also marked the launching of the Dhimsa paddy and millets seed bank. […]

Source: Work as a cooperative, tribal farmers told – G. Narasimha Rao, The Hindu, ARAKU VALLEY (Visakhapatnam district), April 29, 2013
Address : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/work-as-a-cooperative-tribal-farmers-told/article4665785.ece
Date Visited: 12 December 2020

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

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India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress since Independence. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.

Source: States and Union Territories – About India
URL: https://knowindia.india.gov.in/states-uts/
Date visited: 4 September 2021

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