Imphal: Manipur is all set to host the fourth edition of the National Indigenous Seed Festival and the first-of-its-kind in the state to promote and preserve the dying indigenous seeds of various varieties of paddy, fruits and herbs, among others, from October 12 to 14.
The announcement was made by Lok Sabha MP RK Ranjan Singh, chairperson of the organising committee, during a press conference held at ICAR RC for NEH Region in Imphal on Wednesday.
The three-day-long event, which will be held at Central Agricultural University, Imphal, will be organised by All Manipur Trained Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Promoters Consortium (AMAPCON), in collaboration with Bharat Beej Swaraj Manch (India Seed Sovereignty Alliance) as technical support.
Speaking to reporters, Singh informed that the main objective of the festival is to safeguard, preserve and conserve the indigenous seeds of the region and the country a whole. It is also to ways to mitigate global warming since indigenous seeds give good results in a time of adverse condition.
Manipur, being a part of the Indo-Malayam biodiversity hotspot, is a major source for a wide variety of plants. However, the plant products are being lost at an alarming rate due to lack of knowledge, development and attention, it said.
According to organisers, the event is to commemorate decades of service to the farmers and conserving the indigenous seeds or crops which is based on sustainability and safety aspect of farming and also to address the sovereignty issues in agriculture.
Indigenous seeds, including heirloom varieties, are increasingly becoming important due to environmental degradation and climate change, agricultural transformation and long-term productivity improvement are often disrupted.
So far, according to organisers, around 14 states have confirmed to be part of the event and over 250 farmers from outside Manipur are expected to attend the indigenous seed festival.
Moreover, as many as 150 farmers from both valleys and hills of the state are expected their presence at the event, it said.