A contest turns into a treasure trove of seeds

A contest turns into a treasure trove of seeds

Saving seeds

NECF members take a look at the seeds received as a part of the competition at its office in Mangaluru. Credit: DH Photo

A competition for collection of seeds of fruit-bearing trees, organised jointly by the National Environment Care Federation (NECF) and the Universal Knowledge (UK), to instill curiosity among children, ended up reaping dividends.

In the past two months, more than 400 children had collected seeds of fruit-bearing trees and submitted to the NECF.

A few children with a creative bent of mind had prepared sachets of seeds with explanations on the uses of fruits and also its medicinal values. One student had even collected and sent seeds of more than 30 rare wild fruits, informs Shashidhar Shetty of NECF.

The seeds of ‘Hebbalasu’, ‘Nurukallu’, ‘Pannerale’, ‘Uppage’, ‘Kaadubaale’, ‘Eaachalu’, ‘Kepula’, ‘Guddegeru’, black grapes, watermelon, musk melon, chikkoo, moosambi, papaya, ramphala, seethaphala, rambootan, cocoa, echalu, papaya, dates, plum, gooseberry, passion fruit and others, have been deposited in the NECF’s seed bank.

“The competition was organised to make children love environment with visit to forest regions and hilly areas. Children, while collecting seeds, improved their knowledge and even sought information from elders also,” Shashidhar said.

Among the seeds received, 30 per cent were of normally available one like mango, jackfruit, so on, and 70 per cent belonged to wild fruits.

Using the seeds, the NECF has plans to set up a nursery and raise saplings. When the time is ripe, these saplings are planted during the campaign of greening the Western Ghats -- observed on every Sunday. Shashidar says about 12 varieties of seeds received, were on the verge of extinct in the Western Ghats.

Some of these seeds are grown in bushes, creepers and were sources of food to the birds.

“Thus, such saplings on the verge of extinction, will be developed and will be planted on vacant lands across the district. Thus, plants which are on the verge of extinct, can be revived,” adds Shashidhar.

Students not only from Karnataka, even from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra, took part in the competition.

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