Protection and Conservation of Culture is necessary for Poison-free Farming, Self-resilient Farmers and Building Prosperous Village
Indigenous tradition based three days duration seed, food and biodiversity fair for protection of culture of indigenous community and farmers, self rule system, knowledge related to sustainable conservation and community based management of traditional livelihood and food & livelihood chains commenced on 20th June, 2017 at village Jhinkidunguri of Saintal block. In this fair organised jointly by RCDC, Jana Kalyan Smiti, Saintal Block and Zilla Jangal Suraksya O Parichalana Forum, Balangir indigenous communities and farmers of different blocks of Rayagada, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Koraput, Nawarangpur and Balangir districts had participated. The participating leaders of adivasis, forest dwellers, farmers and women organizations of different regions exhibited their traditional food, nutritious forest food and biodiversity. The participants discussed on the contribution of indigenous communities and rural culture towards conservation local environment and building self reliant village. Mr. Jubaraj Bagarty Nina, shared the objectives and process. Panchayat Samiti Chairperson, Saintala Smt. Ahalya Mallik, Sarapancha, Jhinkidunguri Gram Panchayat Sri Bajarangi Jain, Youth Congress President Sri Gunasagar Majhi and Samiti Member Sri Ananta Kalsai, Educationist Sri Sadhuram Kaenda, Former Sarpancha, Jhinkidunguri Gram Panchayat Sri Shankar Majhi, District Programme Manager, Odisha Livelihood Mission, Balangir Mr. Kamalendu Pal, Tahasildar, Saintala Mr. Ashok Kumar Rath, Vice Chairman, Zilla Parishad Sri Pandab Sahu, Srapanha, Kermeli Garm Panchayat Smt. Swarnachmapa Suna, Advocate Mr. Goura Chandra Rajpalia formally inaugurated the fair and Mr. Amar Kumar Gouda, Senior Regional Manager, RCDC coordinated the interfaces among farmers, adivasis, educationists, media representatives and Government officials.
The President of Adivasi Kalyan Smiti, Saintala block Mr. Tankadhar Dharua coordinated the cultural programme of traditional seeds. The President of Odisha Indigenous Farmers’ Organization Mr. Tekendra Jal and Gountias(traditional village heads) coordinated knowledge sharing programme among students, youth farmers and women on relationship of crop cycle with various soil types and weather. In this fair the farmers of different districts had demonstrated 18 types of grains, 23 types of pulses, 5 types of oil seeds, 35 types of indigenous paddy, 12types of forest tubers, 22 types of forest leafy vegetables, 15 types of forest fruits and 56 types of indigenous food and discussed their relationship with physical science and environment. On this auspice competition among school students on identifying indigenous seeds and knowledge sharing on relationship of different crops on health took place.
According the views of the participating senior farmers of different districts, there were thousands of indigenous seeds, tested farming system that adapt with the climate change, knowledge on low expenditure intensive profitable agricultural method and agricultural system giving round the year nutritious food. They aggrieved that the indigenous seed, crop biodiversity, farm favouring environment and biodiversity are threat due to extensive publicity of new chemical oriented agricultural methods and mono cropping during three decades. Due to extinction of friendly micro orgasm soil is getting infertile, still importance is given more on application of irrational extensive use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides. The hybrid seed, chemical fertilizer and pesticide producing companies and traders are getting profit of thousands of crores of rupees by selling these to the poor farmers. But the farmers are depending more on markets and companies since Government effort is lacking for publicity on the indigenous seeds of the centuries, materials and methods of naturally pest managing techniques. Government is spending crores of rupees for purchasing chemical fertilizer and pesticide. The farmers who cultivate traditional dangarchasa, gudiachasa, antchasa and gharbarichasa opined that the elixir soil of the nature and pure food chain are becoming poisonous.
The farmers shared their experiences that in the name of more food production and income due to defective agriculture policy, production of seeds that area inappropriate to local environment, weather and geographical location specific seeds along with grid of subsidy disarranging the independence, sovereignty, economy and self esteem of the farmers. The farmers are quitting farming due to more expenditure and low profit in agriculture. Very often, the big farmers are getting the facilities since the agriculture policies are not in favour of the share croppers, marginal and small farmers. Since the women farmers are not being recognized as farmers they are being debarred from getting agriculture loan during lean period, agriculture related facilities and insurance. The youth are migrating out in lure of works due to non availability of employment and Livelihood Avenue. The uncultivable nutritious food production available during lean period is reducing due to change in the pattern, health and use of food basket-forest and common resources. The farmers had opined that due to change in the natural ecosystem the biodiversity is at threat. The farmers had claimed analysis of the cultural, economic, social, and environmental and ecosystem relations of the scheme prior to introducing any scheme related to agriculture, forest and livelihood. In this context, the traditional farmers and the organizations of indigenous communities took oath for protection and conservation of farming culture, food sovereignty, livelihood, income and biodiversity for poison free farming, self reliant farmer and building prosperous village. Local artists Mr. Gunasagar Bag & team and Mr. Jagannath Muduli & team performed Sanchar folk cultural programme on the relationship traditional agriculture and pithapana (indigenous cakes& drinks)with nutritional food of Western Odisha. On this auspice the traditional farmers and indigenous communities’ organization took oath to protect and conserve agricultural culture, food sovereignty, livelihood, earning and biodiversity for poison free farming, self-reliant farmers and prosperous village.