Seeds of change

Organic farming needs state support to become the norm rather than exception

A BusinessLine report (March 5) features Rahibai Popere, an adivasi farmer of Ahmadnagar district, who has conserved about 43 varieties in the case of 17 crops (paddy, hyacinth, millets, pulses, oilseeds, among others) by establishing a germplasm conservation centre. Having resisted hybrid seeds for two decades, she has emerged as an ambassador for organic farming in her State and beyond, observing that traditional varieties are better able to cope with pests and the vagaries of weather. Rahibai exemplifies not just the immense value of traditional knowledge, but also the potential of India to become a major organic producer and exporter.