Today, people don’t’ even think twice before popping vitamin, protein and calcium supplement pills. But according to G Krishna Prasad, director, Sahaja Samrudha (Bountiful Nature), an association of organic farmers in Karnataka, we have indigenous varieties of rice and millet that have the same medicinal properties.
Prasad and other farmers associated with Sahaja Samrudha have been trying to conserve indigenous varieties of rice, millet, brinjal and mangoes since 2001. On February 20, the organisation will display different varieties of these crops in an effort to link their organic produce with the urban consumer demand during the city’s first ‘Seed Festival’, which begins on February 19 at Janata Kendra, Tardeo.
“The Seed Festival is an experiment. The onslaught of multi-nationals in the seed industry has hampered our indigenous varieties and the local communities are at a loss,” said Jacob Nelithanam, one of the organisers of the festival and project co-ordinator, Richharia Campaign, Chattisgarh.
The festival aims to make consumers aware options in organic produce, and is organised by individuals and non-government organisations such as Nurturing Grounds.