Strengthening Community Seed Supply
Navdanya pioneered the movement of seed saving, which began in response to the crisis of agricultural biodiversity. We realize that conservation of agricultural biodiversity is impossible without the participation of the communities who have evolved and protected the plants and animals that form the basis of sustainable agriculture.The Navdanya program works for promoting ecological agriculture based on biodiversity, for economic and food security. For last 2 decades Navdanya has worked with local communities and organizations serving more than 4,00,000 men and women farmers from the States of Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, Jharkhandand Maharashtra. Navdanya’s efforts have resulted in the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from all over the country including indigenous rice varieties that have been adapted over centuries to meet different ecological demands. We have also conserved 75 varieties of wheat and hundreds of millets, pseudo-cereals, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and multipurpose plant species including medicinal plants.
Over the past two decades Navdanya has initiated Community Seed Banks with many partners including Beej Bachao Andolan in Uttar Pradesh, Green Foundation, Navdarshanam and Centre for Tropical Ecosystems, all three in Karnataka, Rishi Valley in Andhra Pradesh, Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems in Tamil Nadu, Vrihi in West Bengal, Prakruti Paramparika Bihana Sangarakhna Abhijan in Orissa, Kisan Samvardhan Kendra in Madhya Pradesh, Kisan Vigyan Kendra in Banda, Uttar Pradesh, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, CISSA and the Environment collaborative in Kerala, Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum and Manavi in Jharkhand and the Women’s Alliance and Ladakh Ecology Group in Jammu & Kashmir. Navdanya encourages partners to become self sufficient & self supporting to reflect our philosophy of seed sovereignty.
Navdanya has established 54 seed banks in 16 states across the country as we believe in operating through a network of community seed banks in different ecozones of the country, and thus facilitating the rejuvenation of agricultural biodiversity, farmer’s self-reliance in seed locally and nationally, and farmer’s right. Additionally, these seeds conserved by Navdanya have climate resilient properties developed through hundreds of years of farmer selection, and are vital to overcome the agriculture crises caused by climate instability. For example, Navdanya has provided saline resistant seeds to Orissa after the cyclone, drought resistant seeds to Bundelkhand after the drought and flood resistant seeds to Bihar after the floods.
Harmonizing its philosophy, Navdanya has also established a conservation and training center at its farm in Doon Valley. More than 70,000 farmers are primary members of Navdanya. These farmers in turn are spreading the movement in their neighboring villages through Bija Yatras Today, the biodiversity conservation program which are directly run by Navdanya or supported by it, are underway in Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka, Haryana. In August 2004, Navdanya organized Vasundhara – International Organic Farmers’ & Seed Keeper’s Gathering- of around 300 farmers and seed keepers, to celebrate diversity and renew their vow to keep agriculture and biodiversitymfree and in the commons.
Read more about the Bija Yatra 2008