Farmers’ Stories

A foundation seed is the ‘pure seed stocks grown by or under the supervision of a public agency for use in the production of registered and certified seed’. When it comes to ‘informal’ farmer-level innovation, foundation seed(s) take on completely different meanings. For instance, one of the many traditional methods...

The story of Sona Moti demonstrates the important connections between intellectual property in a broad sense and generating financial capital/economic sustainability. Intellectual property distinguishes a product from other available products, so that consumers can make informed decisions. In naming this relatively unknown variety, Sona Moti, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has...

The conservation efforts of rice farmers Suren Bora and Manik Saikia from North Lakhimpur, Assam demonstrate the role of natural capital within sustainable seed innovation. In terms of natural capital, agro-biodiversity means climate-resilient crops, food security, and nutritional security. Moreover, these two farmers work as collaborative scientists with staff from...

Jitul Saikia’s story demonstrates a farmer fulfilling the role of scientist, conservationist and entrepreneur.  As a sericulturalist, he rears Muga silkworms to produce the rare golden silk. His accomplishments include: The conservation of 12 landraces of host plants for the golden silk producing Muga silkworm. The development of a 2...

“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...

One of the most interesting aspects of this research project also happens to be one of the greatest challenges, and that is to meet with farmers throughout India. Traveling across such a vast country to capture the agricultural diversity is both time-consuming and logistically challenging. I flew to Assam from...

The Green Revolution was an initiative that started in the 1960s with the goal of spreading agricultural technologies to developing countries. In India, the state of Punjab was selected to be the poster child for this revolution because it was already one of the highest producing agricultural states in the...