The National Seed Diversity Festival, jointly organized by Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture and Bharath Beej Swaraj Munch in collaboration with Safe Food Alliance of Tamil Nadu and Sahaja Samrudha of Karnataka was held at Chennai on June 9th, 10th and 11th.
As a soil friendly movement which aims to uphold the sovereignty of seeds as well as the rights of the humble farmer, the festival introduced different variety of seeds of the various crops of our country. It also offered a platform to discuss issues related to endangered indigenous varieties of seeds and the need to safeguard the sovereignty of the seed and the farmer.
The Festival highlighted India’s rich diversity of agricultural seeds and bio – cultural heritage, to inspire policy changes and initiatives towards community lead seed conservations, regeneration, use and sharing of locally adopted crop diversity and related knowledge protected from exclusionary patented private property claims and to inspire consumer support towards purchase and consumption of traditional crops varieties.
Gagan Deep Sing Bedi IAS, Agricultural Production Commissioner and the Principal Secretary of Tamil Nadu Government, inaugurated the festival.
Sanjeevini of Andhra Pradesh, Sangata Sathbhaghi Gramin Vikas Sansthan of Chattisgarh, Amirtha Bhoomi of Karnataka, Nalli Bhoomi, Paithrugam of Kerala, Sampark of Madhya Pradesh, Gramin Yuva Pragatik Mandal of Maharashtra, Decan Development Association of Telengana, Devakanta of Manipur, Ahinsa Club of Odiasha, Prem Samridhi Foundation of Rajastan, Create, Nanjamma, Leisa, Pasumai Sigaram and semman of Tamil Nadu, Biodiversity conservation farm of West Bengal are some of the seed savers organization participated in the national event.
Zara, Laiphou, Dalai, Kumbiphou, Kada, Ganda Sale, Palliyar, Mappillai Samba, Manal samba, Seeraga Samba, Illuppapoo Samba are some of the varieties of paddy seeds that exist along with 1,72,000 in numbers at one point of time and now only some 4000 varieties are in existence. They have plenty of health benefits and are best for children, pregnant woman and lactating mothers. Some varieties are good for those with diabetes because of their low glycemic index. Apart from their numerous health benefits, these seeds are pest and drought resistant
150 stalls from 18 states featuring 3000 varieties of organize rice, vegetables, fruits and millets seeds were a major attraction of the event which entertained more than fifty thousand visitors of the state.