Women farmers displayed over 50 varieties of kharif seeds at ‘World Seed Day’
On Wednesday, women farmers displayed kharif seeds at the Deccan Development Society’s ‘World Seed Day’ celebrations in Pastapur village, Zaheerabad Mandal, Sangareddy district of Telangana states.
Women farmers from the Deccan Development Society (DDS) displayed and explained over 50 varieties of kharif seeds, mostly millets, pulses, and oilseeds.
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Pastapur village in the district’s Zaheerabad Mandal was a place of this grand event commemorating ‘World Seed Day’ on Wednesday. The program included women farmers from 26 villages where the DDS has been working.
‘The designation of 2023 as the International Year of Millets is an important step toward mainstreaming millets.’ We are pleased to see the debate on millets becoming more popular, as we have been stewards of these traditional crops for over four decades. During the popular discussion, we hope to highlight a few key points about millets. Millets are mostly grown by women, the poor, Dalits, and small farming families. ‘They have been the main conservers of these crops for decades,’ said the women farmers who took part in the program.
Farmers stated that women play the primary role in seed conservation and that their traditional knowledge of conservation practices must be recognized. Hybrid seed varieties are not permitted to be promoted. Women farmers’ seed autonomy must not be taken away from them, they argue.
They believe that, in the current climate change regime, conservation of seed genetic diversity is critical for rainfed farmers and that ‘community seed exchange systems’ should be promoted rather than the market sale of seeds.
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‘Local systems such as nagu paddhathi (two for one exchange) must be encouraged to protect farmers’ seed security.’ Seed banks must be set up at the village and Mandal levels. Women and small farmers must be actively encouraged to participate in research experiments by scientific institutions. ‘Their experiences, opinions, and knowledge must be identified and included,’ the women stated.