Mobile biodiversity fest brings focus on millets

Mobile biodiversity fest brings focus on millets

On the day when farmers in this semi-arid region of Telangana celebrate their food and seed, Deccan Development Society launched its Mobile Biodiversity Festival  to carry the message of food diversity.

A colourful caravan of bullock carts laden with boxes containing several varieties of millets was rolled by from Yedakulapally village in Jhrasangam mandal on Thursday, on the eve of Makara Sankranti. It will travel through 55 villages before the festival draws to a close on February 13 at Machnoor Village where DDS Green School & Sangham FM Radio are located.

For a change, women farmers are at the forefront of organising the festival, pushing male dominance to the backseat. 

The month-long Mobile Biodiversity Festival—known internationally for its cultural vibrancy and environmental significance—was first held in 1999. Buoyed by the response, the Festival was made an annual event since 2001.  

The festival comprises public meetings in all villages the caravan passes by, where farmers would discuss the importance of biodiversity and seed diversity.

At the launch, Commissioner and Director of Agriculture G D Priyadarshini promised to introduce millets in hostels if there is an increase in production.

 Millets set aside after the farmers’ use could be allotted for government hostels, she added.

DDS Director PV Satheesh, who presided over the function, said millet farmers would increase production and contribute to the public distribution system, where he said at least  two kilogram of jowar should be distributed along with four kilogram of rice.

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