Friday, October 4, 2013

A Photo Report on Bengaluru Seed Festival, September 28-29, 2013

Imagining life without seeds is practically impossible. Thus, it is very important to study and know about seeds in depth and save the seed diversity. The seed forms the basic input/ lifeline of the Agriculture.  As the world progressed, population increased enormously, due to which there has been a constant pressure on  developing high yielding, productive and efficient seeds. The continuous usage of such hybrid variety seeds has resulted in rapid erosion of bio-diversity of our country. Fortunately, a small fraternity of farmers  have preserved and re-used their diverse indigenous seed varieties over generations. Kudos to these farming communities for having contributed in maintaining and developing our agricultural heritage and diversity.  Not many of us are aware that India has one of the richest germplasm collections in the world.  India can also boast of being home to more than 60,000 rice accessions of the 425,000 accessions of the world.
Bangalore Seed Festival
Welcome To Seed Festival 
Celebrating the Rich Heritage of Traditional Seed Diversity
 In this regard, Sahaja Samrudha, in collaboration with Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) had organized the Bengaluru Seed Festival during the last weekend at Veterinary College, Hebbal, Bengaluru to “celebrate the rich heritage of traditional seed diversity”. Many seed saver groups from various parts of the country, working for on-farm conservation and promotion of seed diversity participated actively. There were more than 1000 varieties of different crop seeds on display along with relevant literature. All the stalls were quite informative. A few stalls stood apart by displaying unique products. Bio-diversity Management of Edavaka grama of Wayanad, Kerala displayed about 30 varieties of tubers (that grow underground), Vagadhara of Rajasthan displayed a variety of medicinal  shoots and tubers while another stall displayed rich varieties of forest tree seeds.
Paddy Varieties
Different Rice Varieties of Karnataka
Black Rice 
Wild Wheat
Wild Wheat 

Different Varieties of Bajra and Maize 
Hot and Spicy from Meghalaya
Varieties of Millets 
Medicinal Tubers and Shoots from Rajasthan
Varieties of Tubers from Kerala 
Collection of Forest Tree Seeds 
Why is such an effort significant and how will it influence the future? A classical example of saving indigenous seed varieties and developing better ones in the same line is that of Late Mr. Lakshmanaiah, popularly known as “Ragi Lakshmanaiah/ Ragi Brahma”. As a student, I was fortunate enough for having studied and learned about this great man, who single handedly worked and developed the best and the highest yielding variety of Ragi (Finger Millet) named INDAF series, using various indigenous varieties of Ragi. Indaf series, unlike today’s Hybrid and GM varieties, is one of those rare varieties, which possesses all the properties of indigenous ones, apart from having the advantage of being very high yielding and reusable. During 1950s, Mr.Lakshmanaiah quit the coveted job of a clerk in the Indian railways in order to pursue his passion for agriculture. The rest is history though unknown to the outside world. Today, Indaf is the most popular Ragi variety grown across the driest regions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where Ragi is the staple food. Many such varieties have been developed but have lost the race with time against today’s Hybrid and GM varieties, leading to a total imbalance in the eco-system by appreciating indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Accessories made out of Seeds
Our Field, Our Seed, Our Right  
Effects of  Organic and Chemical Farming 
The exhibition aimed at educating people, especially those linked with or involved in the field of agriculture, towards bigger steps of using, reusing and preserving the indigenous seed varieties. The seed exhibition in total was an educative one and managed to attract a heterogeneous crowd.

  Participants:
1.       Sahaja Organics; Web:www.sahajaorganics.com, Ph: 080-26612315, 7483088144, 080-26661420
2.       Sahaja Samrudha; Web: www.sahajasamrudha.org  Ph: 8050743047,9880862058
3.       Sri Masanasiddeshwar Savayava Krishikar Sangh, Munnahalli, Gulbarga Ph: 9972157413
4.       Desi Krishikar Balaga, Haveri, Ph: 9845890411, 9980679824
5.       Hasiru Consultants and Mkt Pvt Ltd., Web; www.nityahasiru.com , Ph: 9591984709
6.       Desi Uthana; Web: www.uthana.com,  Ph: 9341415399, 7760596275
7.       Bio-Diversity Management Committee , Edavaka, Wayanad, Kerala
8.       Agricultural Training Centre, Fulia, Nadia, West Bengal
9.       Vanastree; Web: www.vanastree.org
10.   Organic farming society, Auroville, Pondicherry; Web: www.auroville.org

References:
1.       KannadaWikipedia
2.       The Hindu article


14 comments:

  1. What a wonderful festival, such events contribute to the much needed agricultural awareness that is losing its relevance in this fast paced world, especially in the cities. Kudos to you for highlighting this, I came back learning a lot of things from it. Many thanks for sharing it.

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  2. It is a very interesting festival and good information. Thank you. The dry wild wheat is very beautiful.
    Tomoko

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  3. Thank you for a very interesting and informative post. I enjoyed your photos, but I enjoyed your text even more. Saving heritage plants is important in this day when entirely too many chemicals are used to grow our crops.

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  4. I do agree with all that George has written -- a very interesting and informative post this is indeed!! Superb captures! Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Amazing festival, really great, not just for farmers but all of us. Thanks for sharing the wonderful knowledge, amazing photos and info of participants too.

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  6. Fascinating post and what a great project and festival. The American Horticultural Society has a seed exchange for native plants but nothing as extensive as this.

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  7. nice to know about this festival!

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  8. love the artwork and the jewelry!

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  9. Wonderful event.This is definitely good learning for all.

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  10. Very interesting and useful post. Our biodiversity and agri diversity need to be preserved for our future generations..

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