10th Biodiversity Fair held at Samdrup Jongkhar

Seed distribution and exchange among different farmer groups
Seed distribution and exchange among different farmer groups

The National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) in collaboration with the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector Samdrup Jongkhar and RNR-RDC Bhur organized a one-day Biodiversity Fair at Samdrup Jongkhar Middle Secondary School ground on 17th December 2014.  The Fair was participated by 70 farmer representatives from various geogs of Samdrup Jongkhar and a community Seed Bank farmer group from Bumthang. The regional heads, Dzongkhag Sector heads, extension agents and, students and teachers from nearby schools of the Dzongkhag also participated in the Fair.

The event was one of the Centre’s activities dedicated to 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.  The Chief Guest, Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongdag inaugurated the Fair and briefed the farmers and participants on the importance of conservation and use of agro-biodiversity for food security and livelihood.

The Fair was organized to stimulate farmers to maintain crop diversity in their fields and provide them the opportunity to exchange seeds and knowledge about the crop diversity in the Dzongkhag. They showcased their popular food diversity during the fair to promote cultural values through conservation and use of Agro-biodiversity in the locality. They also displayed their seeds and exchanged among farmer groups from different geogs.

The organizers recorded and evaluated the diversity to find out the farmers maintaining the highest crop diversity. In recognition of maintaining the highest diversity and to encourage farmers to maintain diversity, agricultural tools and implements were awarded as prizes by the Chief Guest. Ms. Lhazom from Lauri geog received the first prize for displaying the highest crop diversity. The second price was backed by Mr. Nima Gyeltshen from Pangthang village of Wangphu geog. Ms. Tshering Yangdon from Belam Sharang, Phuntshothang geog stood third. All the participating farmers were awarded the agricultural tools and implements as incentives for their efforts as custodians of agro-biodiversity.

The Fair was supported through the on-farm conservation projects funded by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), and South East Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) and Biodiversity International.

Such events are regularly organized by NBC and its partners as a part of the on-farm conservation program. It provides a platform for exchanging seeds and knowledge amongst different farming communities and creates awareness on the importance of maintaining crop diversity and conservation efforts in the country.

-NBC

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