It was a joyful and a moment of pride for the people of Siltepada village, when the new ‘Seed Bank cum Seed Information Centre’ was inaugurated in the presence of local ward member on 25th June 2020. “A series of discussions followed by the exposure visits to the other seed banks made us aware of the importance of conserving indigenous seeds. We are now aware of so many types of indigenous seeds that are suitable for our land and climate. The whole exposure motivated to open the seed bank in our village.” narrated Jotshna Majhi, Secretary of the Village Development Committee(VDC).
Community seed banks are a farmer-led initiative, wherein farmers collect, conserve, produce and promote geographically suitable and climate stress-tolerant diversified seeds. Seed banks are enabling tribal villages to reduce input cost and dependency in buying engineered high-yield seed varieties, fertilizers and pesticides.
IGSSS is implementing the CRAFT-K project in 20 villages of Karlamunda block of Kalahandi District in Odisha to promote climate-resilient farming and locally suitable models. Community managed seed bank is one of them. In two years, six community centres have been established by the community with support from IGSSS.
Sri Jalandhar Bhoi, a VDC member said, “Seed mapping and seed exchange has taught us to collect and conserve it at every household level. We hope we will bring back all our lost seeds. At the inauguration day itself, farmers have contributed 8 types of various seeds to the seed bank”.
Contributed by: Niraj Kumar