Seed conservation and out-reach
Solega Women share their forest seeds
Sorted and Labelled Forest Tree seeds
Recognizing the importance of seeds in general, especially local, land-race seeds, we have cultivated, gathered and conserved several varieties of vegetable, pulses, and oil seeds. Through sessions on ‘home gardens’, ‘local food’, ‘wealth of seeds’ etc, we are attempting to highlight the importance of local seed and food diversity and security to people. A basic seed bank was set up in 2014 with the help of Sunita Rao from Vanastree, the seed savers’ network, and resource persons such as Antonis Breskas, a volunteer from Greece, have helped process the seeds for better conservation and for documenting them. With a holding of about 70+ varieties of seeds, which have been grown, harvested, and conserved on our land, Punarchith conducts regular out-reach programs such as Beeja Baluvali (Seed sharing), and Beeja Mela(Seed fair) at our Nagavalli resource centre. In addition to these activities, in an attempt to promote community home gardens and seed conservation, we have supported several home gardens in two villages, and in 2020, we initiated a ‘Mother’s Garden (Taaindara Topu) at the Nagavalli Primary Health Centre. A community lunch was also organized to enable women to recognize and retrieve local seeds and recipes and their links to food security, nutrition and well-being.