Programme on conservation of Plant Genetic Resources, nutritional and livelihood security of tribal farming community in Rajgarh block, Alwar, Rajasthan

Date Posted: 02-11-2020

A one day awareness programme on “Plant Genetic Resources conservation, nutritional and livelihood security of tribal community” was organized on October 15, 2020 by ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi under Tribal Sub Plan at Dhigawada village of Rajgarh block under Alwar district, Rajasthan. The programme was attended by 111 farmer’s participants (including 23 women) from five villages (Bawari, Chandupura, Dhigawada, Kandoli and Moonpur) of Rajgarh block. Keeping in view the pandemic due to Covid -19, necessary precautionary measures were followed and face masks were also provided to all the participants. During the programme, the resource persons emphasised on the need and importance of conservation of eroding traditional crop landraces and crop wild relatives.
The programme was inaugurated by Sh. Kamlesh Meena (Chief Guest), Sarpanch, Dhigawada village, during his speech, he urged the farmers for preservation and conservation of local varieties and crops, he also stressed on conservation and cultivation of local seeds for future generations. Welcome address was delivered by Sh. OP. Dhariwal, Technical officer (ICAR-NBPGR) who also talked about the importance of farmers’ varieties (indigenous germplasm) in conservation, activities and its role in conservation of PGR.
Dr. D.P. Semwal, Principal Scientist (ICAR-NBPGR) explained about ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi and its role in germplasm conservation. He also mentioned significance of farmers’ varieties (indigenous germplasm) of different crops in the current cultivation practices. Further the importance of local varieties viz. chakri (Cucurbita spp.), bar karela (Momordica muricata), Kachri (Cucumis callosus), Kankoda (Momordica dioica), local tinda (Praecitrullus fistulosus), arya (Cucumis melo) and other varieties of the field crops were emphasised for conservation and utilization in crop improvement. Emphasis was also laid on cultivation of climate resilient crops. He explained about necessity of community seed bank (CSB) at village Panchayat level so that farmer’s also maintained seed chain at farms and to attain the food and nutritional requirements.
Dr. K.L. Meena, Assistant Director and Dr. SP Yadav, Agriculture Officer, State Agriculture Deptt. Govt of Rajsthan explained about the local germplasm like local okra, Arya, Chakri, tinda and Jakhrana goat and their role in livelihood of farmers. Both officersurged to the farmer’s togive priority to cultivate the local varieties to maintain diversity. Dr. G.S. Dewal, Assistant Director Agriculture, Rajgarh block, explained that the local/desi crop germplasm is being eroded due to the introduction of new hybrids/varieties. He further explained about the protection of local germplasm and usage in future and importance of Biodiversity Act. Dr. S.K. Bairwa, Assistant Professor, SKN Agriculture University, Jobner, Rajasthan explained about diversity of cucurbits available locally since long time in Alwarregion andneed for their collection and conservation for future utilization.
The farmers have interacted with the Scientists of ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi and officials of agriculture department, Govt. of Rajasthan. Farm implements and vegetable seed kits were distributed to the beneficiary farmers under Tribal Sub-Plan scheme (TSP). The programme was concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Dr. RK Pamarthi, Scientist (ICAR-NBPGR).

(Source Dr. D.P. Semwal, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi)