The ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi and Department of Agriculture and Extension, Alwar, Government of Rajasthan have jointly organized a programme on 27th Feb. 2021 to create awareness on conservation of Plant Genetic Resources for nutritional and livelihood security of the tribal farmers of Rajor Panchayat under Tehla block, Alwar district of Rajasthan. Programme was attended >175 beneficiaries, including 78 female participants of nine villages. These villages do not have access to the electricity, mobile network and other facilities, since the area lies in buffer zone of Sariska National Park. Wheat barley, chickpea and mustard in Rabi seasons, tobacco, pearlmillet, sorghum, clusterbean and sesame are grown during kharif season. Production and sale of buffalo milk is an important source of income of villagers. Dr. S.P. Ahlawat, Head, DPEGC, NBPGR, New Delhi has welcomed the guests and participants. He informed about the role of NBPGR in conservation of plant genetic resources including traditional landraces/varieties and community seed banks in supply of locally adapted farmer’s varieties. Dr. G.S. Deol, Assistant Director Agriculture and Extension, Rajgarh, Alwar, told the benefits of zero budget traditional farming system, organic farming and asked to farmers to cultivate those landraces on verge of erosion. Dr. K.L. Meena, Assistant Director Agriculture, Alwar, speak on qualities of the landraces of wheat, barley, maize, sesame and other crops that have eroded from the area. He emphasized on the need for cultivation of eroded varieties for nutritional security.
Dr. J.C. Rana, Regional Coordinator, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, New Delhi told the role of traditional varieties in nutritional security and climate change. Dr. Hirendra Singh, Deputy Director, Agriculture and Project Director, ATMA, Alwar, informed different schemes of the state and central governments and their benefits to the farmers. He also told how the farmers can integrate conservation of plant genetic resources in these schemes.
Dr. Kuldeep Singh, Director, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi and chief guest of the function speak on the gradual loss of food crop diversity taking place with development, PGR conservation awards given to communities and custodian farmers from gene fund by PPV&FRA, and role of National Gene Bank of NBPGR in repatriating the crops diversity eroded from different areas. The problems of farmers were also addressed. Agricultural tools and kits of vegetables seed were distributed to the farmers, Sh. O.P. Dhariwal, Technical Officer, NBPGR, New Delhi gave vote of thanks. The farmers and officials of agriculture department praised the ICAR-NBPGR for reaching and conducting this programme in such a remote area.
(Source: Dr. Sudhir Pal Ahlawat, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi)