Balasore, January 6 (Localwire): Internationally acclaimed environmentalist, promoter of organic farming and conservation of seed diversity Dr. Vandana Shiva on Sunday stressed on the need for crop diversity, organic farming, and conservation of indigenous seeds.
She lamented that in their greed for increasing the yield, farmers were destroying the indigenous seeds by using chemicals.
Shiva, who is also the founder of the Navdanya Trust, was speaking at a workshop on crop diversity and organic farming that was organised in Chandipur near Mitrapur under the Nilgiri block.
“Organic farming should be system-based rather than individual component-based. It should have integrated land management systems including forests, rangelands, wastelands, rain-fed, and irrigated lands, livestock, and households. Thus the organic farming would be pivotal in enhancing ecological integrity, a state which will lead to sustainability,” she stated.
Shiva further highlighted that while Odisha had been a place of origin of Indica varieties of paddy seeds, most of them perished due to lack of conservations and organic farming.
Speaking at the workshop, retired professor and an expert in organic agriculture Dr. AK Panigrahi, who is also associated with Navdanya Foundation, stated that the state that had about 25,000 varieties of paddy now has just a few due to non-conservation of the seeds.
“In Western Odisha, Kamala Pujari has about 200 varieties of paddy seeds and in Niali Natabar, Sarangi has about 400 varieties of seeds,” Panigrahi said, claiming that his seeds bank in Balasore has 1,017 varieties of paddy seeds which are climate-resilient.
Several other speakers also stressed that instead of giving subsidy, there was a need for creating a support system that can facilitate, disseminate information and knowledge, and promote organic agriculture systems in the generic sense.
They further said that diverse use of seeds should not only be adopted for paddy also for vegetables and other indigenous crops.
The workshop was attended by FM University vice-chancellor Prof. Madhumita Das, and other senior academicians like Prof. Bishnu Prasad Dash, Dr. Rajashree Dutta, and Kusum Panigrahi, among others.
Several local farmers were also felicitated on the occasion for their efforts in conserving seeds and organic approach.