Seed Balls are enabling the community to restore Nature and the Environment.
We live in times when biodiverse species and trees have become endangered commodities. While policy changes are crucial to bringing about sustainable change, the villagers in Kansil Village in Kalahandi district, Odisha has taken to regenerate their surroundings that have been abuse by man or by mother nature itself by making seed balls also often refer to as seed bombs.  Although the origin of seed ball is a mystery, it has now been used around the world and is gaining popularity in many Indian cities as well.

What is Seed Ball & How to make it?
A seed ball or seed bomb is very much as the name sounds, is the seed inside of a ball-like shape. It is made of clay, earth, and seeds which are used to replant areas where the natural flora has been destroyed. The seed balls are being prepared by wrapping the seed with a mixture of soil, sand, cow dung, cow urine (or water) and organic compose, and then air-dried for some time in a shady place. The cow dung and urine in the seed ball can help prevent pests or animals from munching down the budding trees. Rainy or monsoon season is the best time to prepare the seed ball as moisture is essential for the seed to properly germinate.

Seed Balling: It’s simple just throw and grow
Seed balling is a technique of planting trees by embedding organic seed balls in the ground. The seed balls once dried can be placed carefully over the area to be planted or embedded them partially in the ground for the best result. They are not meant to be buried.

It’s all about Accelerating Natural Regeneration:
One of the Village Development Committee (VDC) members of Kansil Village Mr. Jagannath Bhoi, narrated that “It is because of nature and its biodiversity that the inhabitants could get an earning of around 50000 INR annually through Minor Forest Produces. However, these varieties of indigenous species such as Tamarind, Mahula, Chiranji, Harida, Bahada, and mangos are gradually decreasing as a result of numerous factors threatening to biodiversity”.               

With the effort of preserving and regenerating endangered indigenous species, the community has initiated the preparation of seed ball. The seed ball will be sown once they are ready. The reseeding of land will help the community restore their landscape and reduce environmental damage. “This (seed balls) are an easy, cost-effective, and sustainable way of cultivating plants and have the higher chances of the trees surviving as compare to traditional plantation practices where reseeding some natural areas was difficult,” says Jagannath Bhoi.

IGSSS is implementing the CRAFT-K project in 20 villages of Karlamunda of Kalahandi District in Odisha which envisages engaging with resilience building of small and marginal farmers against drought and another climate variability through adopting drought-resilient climate-smart practices; promoting and enabling the community to undertake and lead mapping and planning and implementation of measures to drought and climate-induced vulnerabilities; promoting demonstration, replication and upscaling of innovative models for combating drought and climate change vulnerabilities. 

 Contributed by: Amar K Gouda, Program Officer, Kalahandi (Odisha)