Sunday, December 11, 2011
H.H. Yogrishi Swami Ramdev Inaugurates the Annadana Seed Bank
The Annadana Seed Bank was inaugurated and blessed by H.H. Yogrishi Swami Ramdev at Ishana in Gopathi farms on 6th Dec 2011. The first of its kind in Bangalore, the core objective of Annadana Seed Bank is Annam bahu kurvita which translates to 'Multiply the grain manifold', ensuring an abundance of food.
Swami Ramdev was warmly welcomed and greeted by Annadana's farmer's children who school at Parmanand Education trust run by Anita Narshiman.
Inaugurating the seed bank for traditional heritage seeds Swami Ramdev said “Our seeds are our heritage. Through the conservation of our traditional seeds, we are reclaiming our Swabhiman”. He called upon all farmers in the country to start conserving traditional seeds as a duty to their motherland. The Swami Ramdev appreciated the efforts taken by Annadana seed savers to build a low cost sustainable farm model one that is replicable through out the country. Annadana's Seed Bank being a unique model uses low-cost material for insulation of the walls to ensure controlled conditions of temperature and moisture. What truly appealed to him was that this could be applied to any traditional existing structure by rural farmers and farming communities at village and district levels with minimal investment. The wooden racks with mesh drying trays are so well designed that provides seeds with adequate shade and ventilation. An hot air oven determines and eliminates moisture in seed by drying under precisely prescribed and controlled conditions. This influences the longevity and viability of seeds. Traditional vegetable seeds displayed of diverse varieties of corns, capsicums, brinjals, lettuces, tomatoes and more in just one season of four month vegetable crop cycle intrigued Swamiji. He added 'Sangita will help in replicating this seed bank in all villages throughout our country to preserve our rich heritage'. The Seed Bank has been designed and built under the supervision of Ashok Kamath, a practical and hands-on innovator.
This honour bestowed on Annadana's spirited team of energised farmers was truly gratifying.
Swami Ramdevji was thereafter accompanied on an brisk educational farm trail themed 'From Soil to Seed to Plate'.
Swami Ramdev’s dream an “Entirely healthy India & healthy world.” He is closely involved with creating employment opportunities for rural marginal farmers and ensuring safe food, a mission that Annadana has been striving to facilitate for a decade and will continue in its endevour with much vigor.
Annadana’s founder trustee Sangita Sharma, a self contained organic farmer said "Through a dynamic agro-ecology knowledge model in practice in a 5 acre certified farm, we engage in intensive field-based research and offer hands-on training to farmers from across the country in integrated farming practises from soil regeneration to seed conservation”. The hard reality that farmers today are losing their age-old knowledge of seed saving techniques is also cause for serious concern. “Annadana's mission is to revive this ancient art and science of seed saving, restore the farmers' right to open pollinated heritage seeds and empower them to be debt-free. This, it regards as central to ensuring India’s national food security”.
Annadana Soil & Seed Savers Network is a Bangalore based registered non-profit that has been working for a decade to safeguard the rich diversity of heritage(traditional) vegetable seeds and restore the livelihood of rural marginal farmers. It produces, conserves, and multiplies over a 100 varieties of open-pollinated vegetable heritage seeds and a few cereals. Over the past eight years, about 25-35,000 organic vegetable seed packets have been distributed free of cost each year to marginal farmers, throughout India.