Mallapur to be seed bank for indigenous crops

By: S. Harpal Singh

Mallapur, the Adivasi village in Indervelli mandal of Adilabad district, will be made a seed bank for indigenous crops with the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Utnoor, playing an active role in its transformation. The village was chosen by the ITDA for its unique effort in cultivation of indigenous crops and eventually becoming self sufficient in food.

“Also encouraging was the factor that farmers here have retained their traditional knowledge of agriculture. The incidence of intercropping in the fields in this village is quite higher, which is a proof of the traditional knowledge being retained,” says ITDA Project Officer R.V. Karnan, who visited the village and some of the fields in Mallapur on Tuesday.

Farmers in this habitation have returned, though not completely, to cultivate their traditional crops. They had sown about 24 native varieties of food grains and food crops during the last two years and harvested enough to discontinue purchase of food from market for themselves, but not sufficient to share the seed with others of their ilk.

The ITDA proposes to take up the exercise in converting Mallapur into a seed bank through promotion of the Union government’s programme in promotion of minor millet cultivation. It will also carry forward the endeavour of the Telangana government in making the State a seed hub.

“We will bring indigenous varities from M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University and other such institutions,” Mr. Karnan revealed.

“With such intervention, I am sure the village will soon become a seed bank,” he expressed hope, as he continued about the ITDA’s plan.

Interacting with the top tribal development officer in Adilabad district, Atram Bheem Rao and Pusam Anand Rao, chairman of the local watershed and village sarpanch respectively, gave feed back on the marketing of their produce. In turn, they were told of the commercial value of seed produced in their fields and how it can benefit farmers in other tribal villages in the district.

The Project Officer also visited a sweet lime orchard and urged other farmers to take up horticulture. He promised help from the ITDA.

Source: The Hindu

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