Seed festival throws up millet cultivation as best option
Trichy: A three-day traditional seed festival aimed at creating a common platform to facilitate exchange of seeds and traditional as well as scientific knowledge concluded in the city on Sunday. The festival turned out to be an exchange programme between the farming and scientific community. Farmers were also made aware of various methods to execute water management during the programme.
A large number of farmers as well as members of the general public gathered at the festival which commenced on Friday. Farmers exhibited a number of traditional seed varieties of vegetables, paddy and millet at the event organized by Pasumai Sigaram Trust. Rare varieties of paddy such as 'Navara, Maappillai Samba, Kichadi Samba, Poongar and Iluppai samba were seen. More than 10 varieties of millets including 'Varagu, Samai, Thinai and Kambu" were also made available at the venue. A total of 60 varieties of vegetable seeds were also on display for the farmers in the district.
Eminent personalities from various fields spoke to the farmers about various techniques to execute organic farming using traditional seeds. Farmers were told about smart ways to protect the ground water table and adopt alternative crop cultivation. "I am very fond of doing organic farming, as the demand for organic products is on the rise these days. So, I have decided to sow millet on my two acres of land in my village", said S Karikalan, 30, of Thuraiyur who participated in the festival.
The seeds were collected by Pasumai Sigaram Trust from farmers and had not undergone any chemical treatment. All of them were nurtured in an organic way, said C Yogananathan from Musiri, organizer of the event. "We are mainly focusing on millet. The grains require minimal volume of water to grow, like just a single spell of rain. We are encouraging farmers to come forward to cultivate millet on their dry land", he said.
First published by The Times of India