Karnataka

Zilla panchayat urges govt. to set up seed banks

Pushpavathi Amaranath, zilla panchayat president, at the seed fair in Mysuru on Wednesday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Pushpavathi Amaranath, zilla panchayat president, at the seed fair in Mysuru on Wednesday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM  

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The Mysuru Zilla Panchayat will prevail upon the State government to set up seed banks in all district headquarters to preserve seeds and to stem the rapid loss of biodiversity.

Inaugurating a seed fair, organised by the Bharathi Beej Swaraj Manch and the Sahaja Samruda, an NGO, here on Wednesday, Pushpavathi Amaranath, president of the zilla panchayat, said that the proposed banks will store seeds of food crops or those of rare species to protect biodiversity.

“Many useful plants that were developed over centuries are no longer used for commercial agricultural production and are becoming rare,” she said.

She said that the ZP will soon write to the Minister of State for Agriculture.

Besides, she said that she would meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, with other members of the Mysuru ZP, during his next visit to Mysuru and apprise him about the importance of setting up seed banks.

Ms. Pushpavathi said that the Nanjangud banana, ‘Erangere badane’ (brinjal), Mysuru betel leaves are some rare species that are developed and grown in Mysuru.

Unfortunately many of them are on the verge of extinction, she said and underlined the need to preserve such seeds to enable future generations to enjoy the taste of such rare species.

Hybrid seeds have not only affected the agriculture practice adversely in our state but it has also deprived people of quality food, she said.

Ms. Pushpavathi further said that farmers were forced to buy patented seeds due to the propagation of the modern agricultural practices.

K.P. Asha Kumari, field officer of the manch, said that the two-day seed fair had been organised to empower farmers and restore the seed sovereignty lost to multinational companies.

The event is expected to wean away farmers from their increasing dependency on companies that profit from their patronisation of hi-breed seeds (that are patented) and encourage the shift to cultivation of indigenous crops. Jacob Nellithanam, convener of the manch, spoke on the occasion. G. Krishnaprasad of Sahaja Samruddha, an organisation propagating the concept of seed sovereignty of farmers, spoke on the occasion.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:19:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/zilla-panchayat-urges-govt-to-set-up-seed-banks/article7816880.ece

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