Return of native strains

Return of native strains

Return of native strains

Desi, it seems, is the buzzword among the state’s farmers these days. Be it desi strains of paddy, or desi varieties of brinjal. Indigenous varieties are definitely in. Thanks to such experiments, many strains that had virtually disappeared from the agricultural scenario have made a presence again.
Take desi brinjal for instance. The wide diversity of brinjal includes haduru gulla, a native of Thirthahalli, Shimoga district and a rare variety, billi gulla badane, known exclusively for its taste. Udupi gulla badane, a native to Udupi is cultivated for its special taste and unique flavour.
Then, there is Malaka badane, mola badane and Mangalooru badane. Sunde kai is one variety used for joint pains, ramagulle badane is a wild variety, which is used to remove tooth cavity. Mattu gulla, cultivated for its special taste and distinct flavour in Udupi district.
Different regions of Karnataka offer a diversity of brinjals.  

Diversity of brinjal
Gullu badane grown widely in Bangalore rural district is best suited for barren land. Sarojamma, a farmer of Channapatna has conserved about six varieties of brinjal and continues growing them. She vows that she will never purchase nor use seeds supplied by the government.  
Kari badane very popular in the Jamkhandi area. Kadu gula badane, a variety available in forest range of Kollegal is used by the migrant populace in plenty in sambar preparations.
Malaka badane is native to Mysore region.
Then, there are other varieties like bili badane, aadu mole badane, akki chikki badane, Vadiraya mullu, bulo badane, ramapura, musuku, kempu gulu, neeli hasiru, billi neeli, sanna bali, sanna gulli...the list is endless.
Sridhar, a businessman residing in Mysore points out that he visits his village Mattu in Udupi district only to taste the sambar prepared using Mattu gulla badane.  

Desi Badane Samskruthi Mela
In December last year, Mysore saw a Desi Badane Samskruthi Mela, a unique festival that celebrated the wide diversity of brinjals, the most popular vegetable for all occasions and integral to Indian culture. Rangayana played host to a display of indigenous varieties of brinjals collected from the Southern states.
The fest drew the attention of people to the threat of losing the popular and diverse varieties of brinjal to the genetically modified variety which the multinational corporations are keen to promote in India.
The day-long ‘Brinjal Festival’ was a joint venture of Nesara (organic farming services society), Nisarga (centre for marketing naturally grown crops) and Aaramba (fraternity of organic farming growers) all Mysore based consumer organisations and Sahaja Samrudha (organic farmers association) Bengaluru.
K S Puttannaiah, President, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) explained that in the past farmers never faced problems with agriculture but today, in spite of science and research institutes “working overtime”, farmers are facing problems.

Features at the fest
The prime objective of the festival was to educate people about safe and healthy food in the wake of the growing movement against genetically modified vegetables and foods that are going to flood Indian markets.
Simultaneously, the festival also aimed at creating awareness on the serious concerns about the impact of GM crops on human health and the environment.
The reason for singling out brinjal is that it is the first genetically modified (GM) crop to be forced into the domestic market, also known as Bt brinjal.

Opposition to GM foods
According to Krishna Prasad, Director of Sahaja Samrudha, “It is time to get up and let our voices be heard in opposing the GM foods before they flood our markets.”
He pointed out that Mattu gulla, a popular variety of Udupi was being tampered as University of Agriculture Sciences, Dharwad has introduced Bt gene into this variety and field trails have been conducted.
Sahaja Samruddha as an organisation campaigning towards GM Free Karnataka, seeks to prevent the entry of Bt Brinjal in India, for which it believes “creating awareness among the general public is very important”.
Losing our traditional varieties will make our farmers dependent on seed companies.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)