Retired teacher seeds organic farming in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A retired school teacher in Odisha has turned an icon for millions of farmers in the country and abroad for his passion to collect native variety of paddy seeds and encouraging peasant communities to undertake organic farming, not only to save huge money spent on buying high-cost chemical fertilisers and pesticides but for keeping good health.

The 85-year-old teacher, Natabar Sarangi, so far collected over 647 varieties of paddy seeds from states like Odisha, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

Mr Sarangi’s tryst with native seeds collection began after his retirement in 1992 when he felt that the new agriculture practices followed since 1960s had dire effects on small farmers and the biodiversity of crops.