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64-year Old Farmer Gets ICAR Award For Conserving and Preserving Medicinal Plants

This year (2021), the National Genome Savior award will be given to a well-known medicinal plant farmer from Manchalle village in Sagar Taluk of Shivamogga district (the food cradle of Karnataka) MV Prakash Rao.

Dimple Gupta
Farmer, MV Prakash Rao

This year (2021), the National Genome Savior award will be given to a well-known medicinal plant farmer from Manchalle village in Sagar Taluk of Shivamogga district (the food cradle of Karnataka) MV Prakash Rao. 

The 64-year old farmer has been selected for this year’s award for conserving more than 200 medicinal plants and preserving 30 varieties in his small agricultural land. The farmer has been actively working for the past 4 decades, propagating a multi-tier and multi-agro forestry model. 

Rao divided his land into individual plots and created the medicinal plant belt and medicinal plant nursery. He has conserved Malnad medicinal plants including various turmeric varieties, medicinal tubers, and creepers on his farm

Amruth Balli, Shatavari, Shanka Pushpa, Ondelaga, Hippali, Chavya, Ganape, Agnishike, Jaali, and more than 30 varieties of creepers, which have medicinal values on his land. 

According to the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Rao is one of the awardees this year and will be getting the Plant Genome Savior Award on 11th November, i.e., tomorrow at Delhi, the nation’s capital. 

I have selected to grow medicinal plants and spices in my agricultural land. Experts identified nearly 3,000 medicinal plants in the Western Ghat forest (Malnad Region). Many plants are on the verge of extinction. I have tried some of them in my land. I have cultivated 30 varieties and preserved 200 varieties. As we are living in the forest, I have shaped my field like a forest, it naturally grows here. Many agriculturalists visited and were inspired. I thank Shivappa Nayaka Agriculture and Horticulture University for promoting this” – Rao said when interviewed. 

Dr. Ullasa MY, Keladi Shivappa Nayaka University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga said – “Prakesh is a progressive farmer. He conserved nearly 200 varieties of medicinal plants on his farm. He developed 30 endangered species which are of commercial value. He grows it by natural farming principle. Plant Genome Savior award is initiated by the protection of plant varieties and farmer’s rights authority under the Union Agriculture Ministry and Farmers Welfare. The authorities considered him for this year’s felicitation. University is always extending support to such farmers. 

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