Indigenous seeds need promotion against hybrid species: Sangaidar Tontang
A One-Day Indigenous Seed Mela with the objective to promote and preserve the indigenous plants of Manipur was organised today at Gandhi Memorial Hall, Imphal, organised by Weaker Section’s Development Council (WSDC), Khangsim, Chandel district under the aegis of Indo Global Social Service Society, New Delhi.
Speaking to media personnel, secretary of WSDC, Sangaidar Tontang stated that with the changes in climatic conditions, many indigenous plants have been endangered even though various varieties of useful plants are available in the state. “With the coming of hybrid plants and crops most of the locally found plants and crops have been becoming endangered,” she said.
“There are many plants and crops in the state which can grow at uncertain climate change in both hills and valleys,” she continued while also stating that with the coming of green revolution, farmers of the state have started neglecting the indigenous plants and products as the hybrid plants and its products have been replacing them due to their ability to produce better yields and their immunity from insects and pests.
While stating that the exhibition is being organised with the motto to preserve and promote indigenous plants of Manipur including varieties of rice, Sangaidar also mentioned that WSDC, which is a non-governmental organisation, had been working both for food security and on child issues.
Sangaidar further stated that there are many varieties of indigenous rice found in Manipur which could grow during flood, drought and even in other critical environmental conditions. “These indigenous rice breeds have been replaced by hybrid varieties; and in order to preserve them, scientists of ICAR, CAU and others need to promote the indigenous varieties by highlighting the quality of the indigenous rice including other plants,” she continued adding an appeal to the state government to take necessary steps by paying serious attentions in order to preserve the indigenous plants and crops.
As a part of the exhibition, eight stalls were opened from eight districts of the State which included Bishnupur, Thoubal, Tengnoupal, Chandel, Tamenglong, Kakching, Churachandpur and Imphal East districts; and for each of eight districts, two farmers represented the stalls.
National awardee, Protection of plant varieties and Farmers rights authority, P. Debachandra Singh, in his speech as presidium member, stated that the black rice of Manipur is famous for its fine quality throughout the country. “There are about 20 varieties of black rice found in Manipur but most of the people and farmers are not aware the varieties; so, experts and scientist need to analyse the quality of the various qualities of black rice in order to produce in massive quantities,” he added.
P. Debachandra further stated that most of the farmers do not bother about the difference between the seeds for plantation and seeds for consumption; and this might be one of the reasons that indigenous plants and crops are becoming endangered. “In olden days various medicinal plants were found as weed in field but with the start of using weedicides without proper knowledge, the medicinal plants are hardly found even in local markets,” he continued while also adding that to promote the indigenous plants and seeds scientist and experts in the field need to analyse which plants are suitable on which climatic conditions.
The event was attended by joint director, ICAR for NEH region, Imphal, I. Meghachandra Singh; head of department Agronomy, CoA, CAU, Imphal, L. Nabachandra Singh; project coordinator of Manipur Small Farmers’ Agri-business consortium, M.S. Khaidem and subject matter specialist (PBG), Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Thoubal, S. Sumangol Singh as presidium members.
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