Sovereign seeds showcase unique biodiversity
NEW DELHI, March 9, 2014, Gargi Parsai
At the seeds festival, varieties conserved through generations are on display.
Farmers from 17 States have arrived here with 2300 seed varieties they have conserved through generations to put them on display at the National Seeds Festival that opened here on Saturday.
The seeds of various crops, vegetables, fruits, tubers, and millets developed by the farmers proclaim the unique biodiversity of the country and back their demand to be treated on a par with agriculture researchers for minimum income security.
The farmers announced the formation of a National Seed Savers Forum to strengthen conservation and breeding. They plan to impress upon the government the need to promote diversity conservation and prevent bio-piracy and corporate monopolisation.
At the Adchini exhibition ground, farmers from West Bengal and Assam came with the ‘Komol’ variety of rice that requires no boiling. Debel Deb from Odisha, credited with conserving 920 varieties of paddy, showcased his nutritious paddy varieties. Dr. Deb distributed free seeds to farmers. As a matter of principle, he does not share his priceless germ plasm with seed companies or breeders.