BEDSTRAW STORIES

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change

The process of planting the organic cotton seeds in Erode is done by hand. The traditional way it was done. 
Organic seeds in India are a precious commodity.  The Green Revolution shifted the focus of Indian agriculture away from biodiversity to increased yield. With the modernization of agriculture, agricultural practices and cropping patterns changed and genetic diversity began getting lost. As a result the genes of traditional seed varieties reduced considerably and several traditional seed varieties are now facing extinction. These varieties were more compatible with local farming conditions, economically practical and environmentally sustainable than the high yielding varieties being used today. They were also more resistant to pests, diseases, droughts and floods.
Seed banks are a form of storage and diversification, and they enhance farmers’ ability to buffer environmental and economic stress by planting several crop varieties adapted to a range of environmental conditions. At the same time, seed banks facilitate farmers’ access to markets and give farmers more choice over what they grow. Seed banks enable rural tribal villages to become less dependent on engineered high-yield varieties and on expensive inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.
Traditionally, seed preservation has been women’s role, and their knowledge of seeds has been extensive. Therefore, women play a major role in the conservation of diversity at the farm level. It is women who decide on the amount of seed and selections of varieties to be stored and the various ways of storing them.
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