Inaugurating a global seminar organised by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on farmers’ rights, President Droupadi Murmu has called for concrete steps to conserve traditional seed varieties and eco friendly farming practices. Ms. Murmu said farmers are ‘anna daatas’ and they need to be saluted. She said it is the duty of everyone to protect farmers’ rights and future.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who also addressed the symposium, said rich agricultural heritage of the country has flourished due to the efforts of farmers, who have carefully nurtured and developed numerous plant varieties and these varieties of plants are not only a source of livelihood but also a living testimony of the deep connection between nature and culture.
Ms. Murmu said farmers have toiled, developed and conserved landraces, wild-relatives and traditional varieties of crops, and provided the building blocks for the modern crop breeding programmes and thus ensured food and nutritional security for human beings and live-stocks alike.
The ITPGRFA signed in 2001 to conserve, use, and manage plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. “My country provides a range of rights to farmers including use, re-use, save, share and sell the unbranded seeds of a registered variety. Besides, Indian farmers can register their own varieties which get protection. Such an Act can serve as an excellent model worthy of emulation for the entire world,” Ms. Murmu said.
Ms. Murmu added that the symposium, the very first of its kind in the world, provides a golden opportunity to the world fraternity in realigning their priorities and programmes according to the needs of humanity and to make a common commitment. “I hope this Symposium would be a milestone in further taking significant steps towards our commitment for fulfilment of farmers’ rights world over,” she added.