You can just soak this rice and eat it

By Times Of India on 08 Jun 2017 | read

CHENNAI: A rice variety from the Sundarbans that can just be soaked in water and consumed. The rare Navarangi dal that is grown only in the Himalayan region.

Want to know more? Just visit National Seed Diversity Festival 2017 (NSDF), to be held from June 9 to 11 at College of Engineering in Guindy, where more than 3000 traditional seeds will be on display.

The festival will bring together 100 seed savers from across the country to discuss issues endangering indigenous varieties.

"The three-day festival will definitely give an opportunity to explore the wide world of seeds. Many of us know only about the paddy and pulses available to us. There are rare varieties of the same paddy and pulse in other regions. The seed savers will introduce their seeds and then interact with people during the festival," said Ananthoo, coordinator of the festival.      

NSDF 2017 is a soil-friendly movement aiming to uphold the sovereignty of the seed and the rights of the farmer. "Seeds have been the lifeline of agriculture. They have been preserved and reused over generations by farming communities maintaining their indigenous varieties. The agricultural biodiversity and our heritage is maintained and developed by this art of preserving and reusing seeds. The festival will focus on the variety of seeds of various crops grown in the country," he said.

Water purification techniques, traditional food, organic produce, kids corner, potter's wheel, seed ball making, seed and sapling sharing, spinning natural dyeing demo, organic clothing, alternate books, composting and terrace garden tips will be on display. There will be stalls for traditional varieties seeds of paddy, legumes, pulses, millets, greens, vegetables and fruits.

Agro-diversity is of immense value to farmers and consumers, said Ananthoo.

"We have a great tradition of seed-savers. But many are not aware of rare varieties of seeds. The idea is to educate visitors about the nutritional superiority of these seeds that can help bring back environmental sustainability into farming."