At a time agrarian issues have taken centre stage in the country’s politics, the central government has announced Padma awards for 12 farmers, including two women, from nine states. Kamala Pujhari, Rajkumari Devi, Babulal Dahiya and Hukumchand Patidar have been conferred the prestigious award for conserving old, traditional seeds and promoting organic farming.
Kamala Pujhari has been preserving local varieties of paddy and promoting organic farming in Odisha. Known as ‘Kisan Chachi’, Rajkumari Devi has been helping the rural population with tips on kitchen farming and developing agro-based products for business. Bharat Bhushan Tyagi, Ram Saran Verma and Venkateswara Rao Yadlapalli adopted technology and scientific methods in cultivation. Two other farmers were selected for work in animal husbandry.