In a bid to promote ecological farming, local seed system and conservation of biodiversity, the Community Seed Festival Committee in Collaboration with NIRMAN, a leading voluntary organization and SWISSAID organized a “Community Seed Festival” at village Bidapaju in Daspalla Block of Nayagarh District on the eve of “National Farmers’ Day” on 23-24th December 2022. More than 500 farmers including large numbers of women farmer participated in the event. Besides these farmers, Agriculture experts, social activists, Journalists and other Govt. officials also joined in this event. Daspalla Block Chairman, Mrs. Sunanda Sahoo inaugurated this festival. This festival began with a unique traditional way of procession of women farmer who brought varieties of indigenous seeds they used to conserve.
Citing details about the festival, Mr. Prasant Mohanty, Executive Director, NIRMAN explained about the importance of conservation of indigenous seeds in the context of climate change. He briefed about the importance of the use and conservation of indigenous seeds and ecological farming practices. There was deliberation on emerging health hazard caused by chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Speakers also appreciated the efforts of Adivasi and women farmers for the improved production of local seeds, agroecological farming practices. More than 100 varieties of paddy, millets and pules were displayed in the festival. A huge variety of indigenous seeds of paddy, millets and pulses seeds were exchanged among the farmers. This colourful festival covered a series of events including knowledge sharing of farmers, cultural programs based on their tradition, seed exchange, prize distribution to champion farmers practicing ecological farming. Mr Debasis Nayak, Agriculture Scientist, KVK. Mr. Shisir Parija, Organic Agriculture Expert, Smt. Aparna Priyadarshini, Scheme Officer, Mr. Abhishek Panda, DPC, OMM, Ms. Diptimayee Praharaj, BPM, Sarapanch Mr. Ramesh Chandra Sahoo, Samittee Sabhya Mami Pradhan, Mr. Prafulla Kumar Panda, Secretary, Press Club Dasapalla, Mr. Rabi Sankar Behera, Researcher, Mr. Ranjan Praharaj, Development Expert Dr. Imran Alli, Coordinator, Coalition of Natural Farming, Ms. Kumudini Mishra participated and shared their thoughts in the festival.