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Art of Living’s Sri Sri Kisan Mela Desi Beej Mahotsav (Seed Festival)

Farmers' Stories

“Knowledge is useless if it is not shared.” - Seed Saver

The above quote is from a participant at the Art of Living’s Sri Sri Kisan Mela Desi Beej Mahotsav (Indigenous Seed Festival). The festival brought together over 80 farmers from Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.

Throughout the event, farmers enthusiastically shared their innovations whether it be a seed storage system, drought-tolerant red basmati rice, a high-yielding (and very spicy) pepper, or the folic acid-rich Golden Pearl (Sona Moti) wheat.

Moreover, this event exhibited the knowledge sharing that occurs during seed exchanges. Those new to farming expressed a keen interest to learn from more experienced farmers. Indeed, farmers selling seeds at the event also shared their knowledge of how to sow and cultivate traditional varieties. In addition, the Art of Living announced the launch of their own seed bank thus creating more opportunities for farmers to exchange seeds.

During the presentations, Dr. Rao spoke eloquently about the importance of cultivating traditional varieties, while introducing participants to Sustainable Seed Innovation 2.0. In keeping with the wise words quoted above, through the sharing of farmers’ stories, we hope to increase recognition of their innovations and help spread their knowledge.

Watch this space for more details about innovative farmers in India. Including the farmers attending this event.

Audience in colourful tent at seed festival.

Farmers listen to tips about germination testing.