Training-cum-Awareness Program on PPV&FR Act, 2001 at Majhkhali (Almora), Uttarakhand

Date Posted: 25-04-2019

One day training-cum-awareness program on PPVFR Act, 2001 was organized at Ramana Nyay Valley in collaboration with Lok Chetna Manch, NGO Partner on 18.02.2019 under UNEP-GEF. Creating awareness among farmers about PPVFR Act and their rights is one of the main activities of UNEP-GEF project thus the program was formulated with the objective of creating awareness among farmers about PPVFR Act, 2001, motivating them for registering their local landraces and farmers’ varieties and to provide technical support in the process of registration. The necessary funding for the program was provided by Bioversity International; PPVFRA, New Delhi and ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi.About 60 farmers from adjoining villages participated in the program. The welcome address was given by Mr Jogendra Singh Bisht, Chairman LCM. Opening remarks about the training program were given by Dr Mamta Arya, Scientist & OIC, ICAR-NBPGR RS Bhowali. Dr K.M. Rai, Scientist, ICAR-NBPGR RS Bhowali gave brief introduction about NBPGR and purpose of this training program. Dr P.S. Mehta, ACTO, ICAR-NBPGR RS Bhowali conferred a talk on “Landrace diversity of Uttarakhand” and presented a well-articulated status of diversity of native landraces of common crops viz., rice, wheat, fingermillet, barley, soybean etc. He also highlighted the dietary diversity in Uttarakhand villages and nutritional importance of local food habit.
Dr Raj Narayan, Scientist-In-Charge, ICAR-CITH and chief guest of the program presented a talk on “Biodiversity and its conservation” and discussed the importance of biodiversity, various threats to biodiversity and measures to conserve biodiversity with special emphasis on agro-biodiversity conservation. He also discussed the value of traditional crops and their role in the society and why it was so necessary to conserve as well document the existing crop landrace diversity.
Detailed information on PPV&FR Act, 2001 was provided by Dr Mamta Arya and various aspects of the act including access and benefit sharing was also discussed under “Access and benefit sharing in PPV&FR” with the farmers. They were also sensitized about their rights as farmer and as breeder during the talk. She also highlighted the role of National Gene Fund and various awards/rewards conferred to the farmers/farming communities under NGF. All the aspects of registration of Farmers’ Varieties were also discussed and a demonstration of “how to fill the registration form” was given.
A detailed discussion on registration process was carried out and various queries raised by farmers were addressed by the resource persons. The registration proforma was also shared with the farmers. The farmers shared their views on the act and welcomed the efforts of the government for safe guarding their rights. They have also agreed to apply for registration of their native landraces and support from LCM and NBPGR has been assured to them.
Dr Negi, Incharge, Uttarakhand Organic Board, also presented his views on the conservation of agro-biodiversity and also emphasized on the importance of traditional landraces under organic cultivation. Mr Ajay Kumar Rastogi from LCM gave his remarks on the importance of such training and awareness programs and appreciated PPVFRA, Bioversity International and NBPGR for this effort. He also mentioned the working of one “Community Seed Bank” in the locality and further enhancement and improvement on the seed bank was discussed.
The overall program was a success with great participation from the farmers. It was a two way interaction where farmers equally participated in all the discussions and enthusiastically committed for registering their landraces. The program ended with a formal vote of thanks by Mr. Jogendra Bisht.

(Source: Dr. Mamta Arya, ICAR-NBPGR, Regional Station Bhowali)