The second Auroville Seed Festival happening on Saturday at the Bharat Nivas in the universal township. It will simultaneously be a celebration of traditional seed varieties, local farming communities and organic agricultural practices. The event will showcase over 350 traditional varieties and will be hosted by the Sustainable Livelihood Institute (SLI), Auroville.
The event will have 27 stalls, more than half of them dedicated to traditional seeds . Apart from seeds, the stalls will have organic produce, organic cotton textiles, bio-inputs, publications on organic farming and eco-friendly products. Separate events for students and a special seminar involving experts on recent trends in sustainable livelihoods are part of the programme.
The festival is returning for a second edition after the maiden event last year was a resounding success with the participation of seed savers (those who conserve and multiply traditional seeds, including rare varieties) and farmers from Cuddalore, Villupuram, Tiruchi and Auroville. The first edition featured about 300 varieties of traditional seeds, including paddy, vegetables, millets and indigenous trees, were put up for sale.
“The seed festival organised last year had a huge welcome from local farmers and gardeners alike and already expectations are running high for this year’s event, which is being seen as a place for sourcing credible and good quality seeds in the region”, said Raja Ganesh, Programme Coordinator at SLI.
“It is heartening to see farmers on their own call and wanting to bring their conserved seeds for sales and exchange here, it is a great motivator for our team”, said Sathyaraj, a stall coordinator.
This edition will feature several experts such as soil biologist Sultan Ismail and seed saving experts like Nel Jayaraman as well as leading Auroville-based farmers and seed savers including Krishna Mckenzie of Solitude.
“We plan to make the seed festival an annual fixture,” said Rama Subramanian, SLI Director. The entry is free.