The Sanjeevini Rural Development Society based at Araku in Visakha Agency received the Plant Genome Saviour Community Award along with a cash award of Rs. 10 lakh, from Union Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar at a function held in New Delhi on Wednesday, to mark the International Biodiversity Day.

Sanjeevini was chosen for this prestigious award, constituted by the Union Ministry’s Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA) for its contribution in conservation of local diversity, land races and farmers’ varieties in cereal, small millets, pulses and vegetable crops. Secretary of Sanjeevini P. Devullu along with other members of the team Sagari Venkata Narayana Murthy, a woman PTG farmer Pangi Sunkri, Korra Pandann and P. Ammaji received the award. The team was accompanied by Principal Scientist of Hyderabad Regional Station of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) B. Sarath Babu. NBPGR facilitated the documentation required towards fulfilling the requirements of application for the award by PPVFRA. NBPGR worked in close association with Sanjeevini for exploring the high altitude areas of Araku area for the collection of plant genetic diversity in that area.PPVFRA gave away 15 other individual recognitions to those who contributedtheir mite for the conservation of plant genetic diversity in India.

Mr. Devullu expressed his happiness that the Central Government has also recognised the work being done by Sanjeevani. It is a great encouragement for grass-root level workers.

Several years of hard work in preservation and conservation of seeds of different varieties of paddy, millets, etc. the Girijan farmers are cultivating for generations has borne fruit for Sanjeevani.

Sanjeevani along with Samata is organising an old seeds festival every year since 2004. “Some sections of Girijans farmers are going for hybrid varieties since they give more yield but there is rethinking among them and they are now looking for old varieties. They approach us and we provide information on the availability. Korralu (a millet) is now gaining popularity among farmers and around 80 farmers have resumed its cultivation in the area where Sanjeevani operates,” Mr. Devullu said.

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