The farmers of Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand have been following their traditional method of rain fed farming called Baranaja (twelve grains) which not only gives them a sufficient harvest but helps them carry forward the amazing seeds.
Baranaja enables the farmers to grow 12 different kinds of crops at the same time. The crops include grains, lentils, vegetables and even spices. Such mixed farming on a land area of two or less acres can feed a family of five for a year.
The ‘Beej Bachao Andolan‘ (BBA), begun here in the late 1980s, is fifteen years old. Led by farmer and social activist Vijay Jardhari, the ‘Andolan’ has made village Jardhargaon of district Tehri famous for its unique movement to save the traditional seeds of the hills.
The ‘Beej Bachao Andolan’ (Save the Seeds Movement) is not only a crusade to conserve traditional seeds but also to promote agricultural biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and local traditions.
The hallmark of the BBA is that it is a people’s campaign and flourishing without any government financial assistance or help.
Vijay Jardhari and his friends travelled from village to village to collect traditional seeds. To date, they have collected some 200 varieties of kidney beans, 100 of paddy, seven of wheat – to mention just a few. The huge collection of local seeds clearly indicates the toil put in by the BBA activists.
Asserting that the demand for organic food grains is increasing with each passing day he said, “Some ten years back when we used to participate in fairs in New Delhi, selling organic food grains, our maximum sale used to be around Rs 10,000. But now the turnover is over two lakhs. This clearly indicates the rising awareness about organic food grains among consumers.” Uttarakhand is promoting itself as an organic state. The state could learn a lot in this regard from the unique ‘Beej Bachao Andolan’.
Watch the video uploaded by Vimeo here and get inspired. Also don’t forget to spread this to the world. Happy Farming.