Grass root level Awareness Programme on Agri-biodiversity conservation cum Farmer Benefit delivery organised by ICAR-NBPGR Regional Station at Konda Mallepally under SC Sub Project

Date Posted: 17-03-2022

In Telangana, Nalgonda district has good number of SC farmers and stands second 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. 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 Nalgonda district, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Regional Station, an ICAR research institute located in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad in association with Horticultural Research Station, Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University, Konda Mallepally, Nalgonda district organized a Biodiversity Fair cum Grassroot Level Awareness Programme on Crop Genetic Resources Conservation on 16th March, 2022 at Konda Mallepally under the SC Sub Project. This will help bring in awareness to 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 kits (Tarpaulin sheet, minor farm implements, torch, seeds, zinc etc.) 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 150 SC Farmers participated in the programme. The Registrations were coordinated and farmers and dignitaries were welcomed by Dr.Pranusha, Scientist, NBPGR and overview of the Awareness Programme was given by Dr.K.Anitha, Principal Scientist & Officer-In-Charge, NBPGR Regional Station, Hyderabad. The Biodiversity Exhibition was inaugurated and a message was given by Chief Guest, Dr.B.Neeraja Prabhakar, Honourable Vice-Chancellor, SKLTSHU. Aspects on Agri-biodiversity conservation were dealt with by Dr. N. Sivaraj, Principal Scientist.

Dr. Suresh Kumar, Senior Scientist & Head, HRS, Konda Mallepally also spoke and gave his remarks. There was also a Farmers-NGOs-Scientists Interaction which was taken up by Sri.G.Sridhar Reddy, DAO, Mr Rupani Ramesh, Sri Sedhya Raithu Seva Samstha, and Scientists from NBPGR-HRS. In the Programme Smt.D. Rekha Reddy, MPP, Konda Mallepally Mandal and Smt.P. Rudrama, Sarpanch, Chintakuntla, Dr Venudhar Reddy, Chairman, PACS, Nalgonda also participated and addressed the farmers. There was a release of NBPGR publication in vernacular language entitled “Vyavasaaya jeeva vaividhyam parirakshanalo jeevavaividhya yajamaanya committelu- Chattaparamaina hakkulu" by the Chief Guest and also distribution of implements useful to SC farmers in the tillage of local landraces/ traditional varieties was facilitated by NBPGR Regional Station, Hyderabad. The programme ended with a vote of thanks proposed by Dr. L. Saravanan, Senior Scientist, NBPGR who acknowledged all persons who contributed in making the programme a grand success.

(Source Dr K Anitha, NBPGR, RS Hyderabad)