Expo-cum-seminar on indigenous seeds from Friday
TNN | Apr 25, 2013, 03.59 AM IST NAGPUR:
A group of organizations are jointly organizing a three day seed exhibition cum seminar at Vinoba Vichar Kendra from Friday evening to promote conservation of Indian biodiversity in grains, fruits, vegetables etc. These organizations are Samvad, Srujan, Gram Samasya Mukti Trust, Dry Land Farming Group, Aamhi Amchya Arogya Sathi and Nisargayan.
Speaking to reporters, Vasant Futane of Samvad and a progressive farmer from tribal village of Rawala near Warud in Amravati district said it was the need of the hour conserve the Indian seed varieties, be they in grains, pulses or vegetables etc. “There is a big attack from the genetically modified (GM) crops lobby that was trying to influence the central government in manipulating the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill. We need to conserve our biodiversity and protect our seeds,” he said.
For healthy and safe food, conventional seeds and germ plasm need to be protected from any modification. The GM crops have destroyed many conventional varieties and hence efforts were needed on a war footing to conserve the original varieties, he said.
The exhibition will have on display conventional varieties in grains like jowar, bhagar, nachani, saga, kodo, kutki, rajgira, bajra, rice and maize, pulses like moong, urad, lakhodi, channa, rajma etc, oilseeds like mabadi, linseed, groundnut, mustard, castor and most vegetables. Parallel to the exhibition, talks will be held on subjects like poison in the plate, preserving biodiversity, seed conservation techniques, myths and truths about GM crops. Atul Upadhya, Hemant Moharil, Shantilal Kothari, Shripad Joshi also addressed the media.