ICAR-NBPGR Regional Station, Hyderabad organised a Grass root level Awareness Programme on Agri-biodiversity conservation cum Farmer Benefit delivery at Chintaguda under SC Sub Project

Date Posted: 27-03-2021

In Telangana, Ranga Reddy district has good number of SC farmers and stands third in the state with respect to their population. This district is a treasure trove and holds promise as far as crop genetic diversity is concerned. These SC farmers made significant contribution in farming and used to cultivate different landraces/ traditional cultivars and contributed towards conservation of Agri-biodiversity over a period of many centuries. Increasing population, commercialization of agriculture and mono-cropping resulted in erosion of available genetic diversity. Owing to declining cultivation of sorghum, pearl millet and small millet crops resulted in not only loosing the crops but also the landrace diversity in those crops. As the SC farmers are taking up cultivation of non-traditional crops and improved varieties the accumulated diversity in traditional crops is also getting eroded. Genetic diversity and germplasm is the basic material required in any crop improvement programme. Traditional crops and local varieties/ landraces are climate resilient and climate ready crops like cowpea, sorghum, pearl millet, finger and other small millets crops are on the verge of extinction/ replacement. They require minimum rain and are drought tolerant with biotic/ abiotic stress adaptation and tolerance with assured yields even under adverse conditions.

Keeping in view the erosion of Agri-biodiversity especially in the SC farming areas of Ranga Reddy district, ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Regional Station, located in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad organized a Biodiversity Fair cum Grassroot Level Awareness Programme on Crop Genetic Resources Conservation on 25th March, 2021 at Chintaguda under the SC-Sub Project. It will help bringing in awareness among the SC farmers regarding conservation of Agri-biodiversity at grassroots and also help uplift SC farmers through Benefit delivery. To promote and encourage cultivation and conservation of Agri-biodiversity by the SC farmers, farm tool kits consisting of a Sprayer and a Tarpaulin sheet are distributed to suitable beneficiaries. An exhibition of the diversity in native seeds in different Agri-horticultural crops was displayed during the programme for inculcating awareness on importance and indispensability of Crop Genetic Resources.

About 100 SC Farmers participated in the programme. Dr P Pranusha Scientist managed the registration of SC farmers and conducted programme. Dr K Anitha, Principal Scientist & Officer-In-Charge, NBPGR Regional Station, Hyderabad welcomed the gathering and presented an overview of the programme. The Biodiversity Exhibition was inaugurated and a message was given by Chief Guest, Dr B Sarath Babu, Retired Principal Scientist & Officer-In-Charge, NBPGR Reg. Station, Hyderabad. Aspects on Agri-biodiversity conservation were dealt with by Dr N Sivaraj, Principal Scientist. The Extension activities for Farmers were covered by Sri B Venkatesh, Guest of honour & Asst Director of Agriculture, Mahaboonagar. Dr L Saravanan stressed the need for conservation of traditional crop diversity. In the Programme Smt. Kalpana, Village Sarpanch, Mr Naresh, Deputy Sarpanch and Smt. Lakshmi, MPTC also participated and addressed the farmers. Farmers - Scientists Interface at the exhibition venue was taken up by Drs. Saravanan, Parameswari and Babu Abraham. Distribution of implements (Battery operated sprayer & Tarpaulin) useful to SC farmers was facilitated by NBPGR Reg. Station, Hyderabad. The programme ended with a vote of thanks proposed by Dr Sivaraj and acknowledged all persons those who have contributed in making the programme a grand success.

(Source Dr K Anitha, ICAR-NBPGR, Regional Station Hyderabad)