1. Success Story

Seed Mother of India, Rahibai Popere

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

When we talk about successful women what come in our mind is women who work in offices or cool chambered places but in this article we will tell you about a woman who has registered her name in the list of Top 100 along with three Indians on the BBC LIST OF "100 WOMEN 2018". This women is named as epithet "Seed Mother" by the Scientist Raghunath Mashelkar, the erstwhile Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.


To elaborate the profile, she is a 54 year old woman hailing from Kombhalne village of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, expert in the subjects of agro-biodiversity, landrace conservation, and several innovative techniques in the cultivation of paddy crops. She is an active member of the self-help group Kalsubai Parisar Biyanee Savardhan Samiti (translation: Committee for seed conservation in the Kalsubai region). Her contribution lies in   conservation of almost fifty acres of ingenious farmland, where she grows 17 different crops. Focusing on women led agro-biodiversity, she is a self-made expert in the subjects of agro-biodiversity, landrace conservation, and several innovative techniques in the cultivation of paddy crops. 

BAIF Development Research Foundation that visited her in 2017 claims that the gardens she supported had enough produce to meet the dietary requirements of a family for a whole year. 48 indigenous landraces of 17 different crops including paddy, hyacinth bean, millets, pulses, and oilseeds have been conserved and multiplied till now. 

In an interview she said that Native crop varieties are not only drought and disease resistant, but are nutritive and retain the soil fertility as they do not need chemical fertilizers and excessive water. Activities that she indulges in also include training to farmers as well as students on the subjects of selecting seeds, soil fertility improvement, pest management and control. Rahibai is a humble and confident woman and she supplies native crops and pushes the farmers to shift to local varieties. 

An organisation by the name 'Kalsubai Parisar Biyanee Savardhan Samiti' is also spearheaded by this great woman farmer in Akole, Ahmednagar district which works towards the conservation and propagation of traditional varieties of crops.  There is another self help group by the name

'Chemdeobaba Mahila Bachat Gat' in Kombhalne where beside agriculture initiatives health camps and supply of solar lamps are also organised. 

A saying by Rahibai seems so true that 'One is the pioneer of one's own life' as she has also created her own water harvesting system such as Farm pond and traditional 'Jalkund'.   She is an inspiration not only to farming community but to all those who are willing to achieve some or the other goal.


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