India is a land rich in biodiversity. For over 10,000 years, Indian farmers have used their brilliance and indigenous knowledge to domesticate and evolve thousands of crops including 200,000 varieties of rice, 1,500 of wheat, 1,500 of bananas and mangoes, hundreds of types of dals, oilseeds, diverse millets, pseudo cereals, vegetables and spices of every kind. This brilliance in breeding was abruptly stopped when the Green Revolution was imposed on us in the 1960s by the chemical industry with its roots in the war. As in the colonisation of the past, our intelligence in seed breeding and agriculture was denied. Our seeds were called “primitive” and displaced. A mechanical “intelligence” of industrial breeding for uniformity for external inputs was imposed. Instead of continuing to evolve varieties of diverse species, our agriculture and our diet were reduced to rice and wheat.

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About Navdanya

Navdanya means “nine seeds” (symbolizing protection of biological and cultural diversity) and also the “new gift” (for seed as commons, based on the right to save and share seeds In today’s context of biological and ecological destruction, seed savers are the true givers of seed. This gift or “dana” of Navadhanyas (nine seeds) is the ultimate gift – it is a gift of life, of heritage and continuity. Conserving seed is conserving biodiversity, conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, conserving culture, conserving sustainability.

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