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"People will depend heavily on other States if indigenous crops are not preserved"
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 14 2019: With the main objective of preserving the seeds of indigenous rice and other crop varieties of the State, Weaker Section's Developmental Council (WSDC) Khangsim, Chandel district and Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) organised a one day indigenous seed mela at Gandhi Memorial hall today.

Altogether eight stalls from Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Kakching, Churachandpur, Tamenglong, Chandel and Tengnoupal districts were opened in the mela displaying seeds of various indigenous crops and vegetables.

The inaugural function of the mela was attended by ICAR-NEH Region Imphal Joint Director I Meghachandra, College of Agriculture, Central Agriculture University, Imphal HoD (Agronomy) Dr L Nabachandra Singh, Manipur Small Farmers' Agri-Business Consortium project coordinator MS Khaidem, Krishi Bigyan Kendra Thoubal subject matter specialist (PBG) S Surmangol Singh and National awardee P Debakanta Singh as presidium members.

WSDC secretary K Shangnaidar Tonthang conveyed that the mela was organised to create awareness on the need for preserving and saving the seeds of various indigenous (local) crops and vegetables.

She pointed out that the trend of replacing the seeds of various indigenous crops and other vegetables in the State by genetically modified seeds and hybrid seeds has a posed great threat in the agricultural sector of the State thereby leading to extinction of the indigenous crops.

Noting that the people will be depending heavily on other States or countries if the authorities concerned as well as the farmers ignore the aspect of preserving and saving the varieties of indigenous seeds and vegetables, the secretary went on to observe that the impact will be perilous for the people in food security of the State.

She further underscores the need for producing the indigenous crops and vegetables which are resistant to the gradual climate change happening in the State and across the globe.

Debakanta, who had been conferred the Plant Genome Saviour Award 2012 by Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI lamented that the State Departments concerned have completely ignored the idea to protect and preserve the State's indigenous crops.

He remarked that many indigenous rice varieties like Moirang Phou, Phouren Phoujao and event indigenous Chak-hao (black rice) are starting to disappear as farmers continue to replace them with the rice crop varieties brought from other States.

Debankanta added that the trend of using heavy amount of pesticides and fertilizers have also led to the extinction of many medicinal values present in the plant.


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