Odisha becomes the first state to notify a committee for conservation of seeds preserved by tribal farmers

Tags: State News

The Odisha government has established a committee called the Landrace Varietal Release Committee (LVRC) to release traditional millet varieties in accordance with standard operating protocols (SoP) for seed systems.

An overview of the news

  • Odisha is the first state in India to develop a protocol for releasing indigenous millet varieties conserved by tribal farmers for centuries.

  • Landraces refer to ecotypes that have been cultivated for a long time in their original habitats. 

  • It is crucial to preserve these landraces before they become extinct.

  • The initiative aims to preserve traditional landraces, promote agrobiodiversity, and empower custodian farmers in Odisha while supporting sustainable agricultural practices.

Landrace Varietal Release Committee (LVRC)

  • The objective of the committee is to recognize the efforts of custodian farmers, particularly tribals, in conserving traditional millet landraces.

  • The LVRC consists of representatives from the Agriculture department, Odisha State Seed and Organic Products Certification Agency, Odisha State Seed Corporation, State Seed Testing Laboratory, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, ICAR-IIMR, custodian farmers, Farmers Producer Organisations etc.

  • The committee will advise the state government on mainstreaming landraces of millets in Odisha, review the implementation of the SoP, and submit periodic reports.

  • The LVRC will assess and release landraces of millet crops in the state based on their traits and farmer preferences, as well as review seed requirements and plan for different regions of the state.

Participatory varietal trials (PVTs) 

  • Participatory varietal trials (PVTs) conducted under the Odisha Millets Mission (OMM) have shown that certain millet landraces perform better than released varieties under different agricultural practices.

Standard Operating Protocol (SoP)

  • The working group, in consultation with experts from various institutions, developed a standard operating protocol (SoP) for seed systems for landraces.

  • The SoP takes into account scientific parameters such as yield, as well as criteria like taste, climate resilience, pest tolerance, and cultural significance.

  • The comprehensive SoP developed for landrace seed systems in Odisha is not only applicable to millets but can also be contextualized for other crops, including horticulture.

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