Torch bearers for millet seed security

Jan 19, 2014: Deccan Herald

The National Biodiversity Authority has recognised 30 villages in Zaheerabad of Medak district of Andhra Pradesh that grow traditional and fast-disappearing millets as Agricultural Biodiversity Heritage Site (ABHS).    

The Andhra Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (APSBB), which finally gave green signal for the rare recognition, has sent its recommendation to the National Biodiversity Board, which has approved the proposal making these villages to become first villages in India to be recognized as ABHS.

“The file is now with the agricultural department. By the end of January we will announce these villages as ABHS with or without their opinion,” a determined APSBB Chairman Dr R Hampaiah says. Thus, the dryland villages in four mandals and the 5,000-strong women farmers of the Deccan Development Society (DDS) that grow only “forgotten millets” without fertilisers or pesticides will join the list of 27 such other sites around that world by February.