Bio diversity festival tells story of seeds, millets
Zaheerabad: A month-long mobile bio diversity festival organised by Deccan Development Society (DDS) concluded here at Pachasale village on Wednesday. This is the 20th edition of annual event by the DDS.
Celebrated over a period of one month, the festival is a carnival of the farming women by decorating bullock carts with seeds and other farming motives and parade through the streets of all the villages from where they come from, joined by singers, dancers and other folk artists. This festival has attracted the attention of all people who cherish agro-biodiversity, women’s role in cultivating and conserving this biodiversity.
Speaking on the occasion, the Director of the DDS PV Satish said cultivation of millets has come down drastically as farmers showed interest on crops like cotton. He shared some research findings about the cultivation. As millet cultivation ensured food security for these women, we are continuing with it, he said.
Revati, dean of graduate studies at CESS, Hyderabad appreciated DDS and the women involved in the process of protecting our traditional crops. She said that millets are not for the poor, in fact they are very rich in nutrients. Prof Mitchel Pimbert, Coventry University UK said praised the farmers by terming their efforts as ‘collective intelligence’. He found diversity in the crops and produce. He assured them that the seeds they preserve can sustain in the ever-rising temperatures.
Prof Mule, associate dean of the Community health memorial university, Canada said he was very much impressed by the way women manage the farming. He said he visited DDS in 1995 and showed videos of women in Canada. “The US introduced wheat to us and we spoilt our lifestyle,” he said.
S Anitha, India Director, Swallos India, Bangladesh, Sweedan, hailed the women for their commitment towards the farming. A Narsimha Rao, Agriculture Director said once forgotten millets are back again due to the efforts of these women. He informed that government is contemplating to bring processing machines to villages.
Dr VS Alugu Varshini, commissioner of Ayush said millets will be offered to the in-patients of their hospitals. She assured to open an outlet in nature cure hospital for free of cost.
Suryapet Nagamma and Methari Nagamani of Pastapur villages were felicitated in the closing ceremony. Women from Gudipalli and Arjun Naik Thanda, where the festival was kicked off were also felicitated.
Participants of the community film festival were also given cash prizes.
Coordinator of the festival Chukkamma thanked all the participants including those from foreign countries.