In order to promote and conserve the indigenous seeds, a daylong indigenous seeds mela was held at the Gandhi Memorial hall premises in heart of Imphal town on Thursday. The seeds mela was organised by the Weaker Section’s Development Council (WSDC), a Chandel district based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) of Manipur, in collaboration with the Indo-Global Social Service Society, New Delhi.
Joint Director I Meghachandra Singh of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-North Eastern Hill region Imphal centre, L Nabachandra Singh, head of department, Agronomy Central Agricultural University, Imphal, MS Khaidem, Project Director of Manipur Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium, Subject-matter specialist S Sumangol Singh of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Thoubal, and national awardee practitioner P Devkanta attended the formal inaugural function of the seeds mela.
Altogether, 14 women farmers representing eight districts of the state – Bishnupur, Churachandpur, Chandel, Imphal East, Kakching, Tamenglong, Tengnoupal and Thoubal took part in the indigenous seeds mela. Highlighting the main objective of holding such a mela, secretary, Sangnaidar Tontang of WSDC said that the event was organised not just to protect and promote the indigenous seeds but to keep the seeds within the community so that it can be shared and help support people to lead a sustainable livelihood in this genetically modified crops era.
Speaking on the occasion, Meghachandra, a senior scientist who has a lot of knowhow about different indigenous seeds, appealed to the people, particularly the womenfolk, to conserve the locally available seeds of vegetables and paddy to facilitate the government to take up necessary conservation policies.
On the other hand, national awardee Devkanta, who is also president of All Manipur Trained Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Promoter Consortium, also echoed similar views to protect indigenous seeds so that the scientists can work on and develop locally suitable seeds. L Nabachandra Singh of Central Agricultural University, Imphal, and Project Director MS Khaidem besides KVK expert Sumangol also spoke on the occasion.