Univ. to make 20 model fruit villages in NE states to enhance economy
Imphal, Oct. 12 (EMN): National Indigenous Seeds Festival kicked off at the Central Agricultural University (CAU) campus, Iroishemba in the outskirt of Imphal on Saturday.
Farmers and NGO from 15 states are participating in the three-day event. The festival which will continue till October 14.
Addressing at the inaugural function, CAU Vice Chancellor Dr. Premjit underscored the need to have a proper government policy to address the issue of conserving indigenous crop seeds for future food and nutritional security.
Dr. Premjit said the university had collected and studied about 279 traditional rice varieties in Manipur. However, he maintained it is difficult to preserve all the seeds , therefore proper government policy is needed, so that farmers who had been conserving such traditional seeds could be incentivised.
The vice chancellor informed the gathering that the university would make 20 model fruit villages in north-eastern states to enhance the economy of the under privileged farmers.
Northeast being a biodiversity hotspot, contributes 7000 species out of India’s total flora of 17,000 species besides having more than 9650 rice varieties.
IAS (retired) Dr. RK Nimai urged the people particularly the farming community to go for sustainable agriculture considering the climate change, which he termed as a ‘national phenomenon’ and global warming, an anthropogenic pressure.
He also highlighted the challenges faced by farming community due to sudden pest invasions and expressed the need to have a proper documentation of the agricultural activities.
President Jacob Nellithanam of Bharat Beej Swaraj Manch, a partner organiser of the festival speaking to this reporter on the sideline of the day’s event, expressed the need to conserve indigenous seeds of different types of crops, so that the gene can be used as an instrument to combat or to mitigate the failure of crops by climate change.