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Wayanad Community Seed Fest Celebrates Agrobiodiversity and Recognizes Conservation Efforts

The Wayanad Community Seed Fest 2024 continues to play a vital role in preserving and promoting agrobiodiversity in the region through collaborative efforts and community engagement.

Shivam Dwivedi
Wayanad Community Seed Fest Celebrates Agrobiodiversity and Recognizes Conservation Efforts
Wayanad Community Seed Fest Celebrates Agrobiodiversity and Recognizes Conservation Efforts

The Community Agrobiodiversity Centre of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF CAbC) organized the 8th Wayanad Community Seed Fest in collaboration with the Wayanad District Tribal Development Action Council (WDTDAC) and Seed Care on March 1-2, 2024 in Wayanad, Kerala. The event drew participants from diverse backgrounds, including farmers, researchers, students, entrepreneurs, and women.

The annual Wayanad Community Seed Fest serves as a unique platform to celebrate the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats while fostering community engagement in the conservation and cultivation of agrobiodiversity. Against the backdrop of Wayanad's natural beauty, the festival encourages knowledge exchange, empowerment, and the celebration of seed diversity.

A highlight of this year's event was the recognition of three families of tribal farm conservators from Wayanad with the Community Genome Saviour Awards. These awards acknowledge their dedicated efforts towards the conservation of agrobiodiversity, highlighting the crucial role of indigenous communities in preserving traditional seed varieties.

Wayanad Community Seed Fest 2024: Showcasing Agrobiodiversity

The festival featured agrobiodiversity exhibitions showcasing a diverse array of traditional crops, including bananas, tubers, pulses, vegetables, and spices. Custodian farmers and genome saviours from across regions displayed their efforts in preserving and promoting indigenous crop varieties.

An integral part of the festival was the seed exchange program, facilitating the exchange of traditional seed varieties among farmers. This initiative fosters agrobiodiversity and ensures the conservation of indigenous crops. Additionally, elders ceremoniously shared seeds with the younger generation, emphasizing the importance of conserving seed diversity for future generations.

Technical seminars on various topics such as healthy seed management, sustainable spices production, and entrepreneurship provided valuable insights into addressing contemporary agricultural challenges while preserving traditional wisdom. Interactive sessions engaged students in nature awareness, food, and nutrition, nurturing a deeper understanding of the importance of nature conservation from a young age.

An open forum provided women with a platform to voice their concerns, aspirations, and initiatives, recognizing the pivotal role of women in agriculture. Additionally, a plant clinic offered farmers access to expert advice, diagnostic services, and solutions for pest and disease management, enhancing agricultural sustainability.

As the curtains closed on the 8th Wayanad Community Seed Fest, the event left behind strengthened partnerships and a shared commitment to conserve biodiversity for a brighter and sustainable future.

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