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Awareness Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources Conservation
 
 

A three-day mutual-sharing workshop has been collaboratively conducted by NBPGR-DDS-MANAGE-DDSKVK in the premises of Krishi Vignan Kendra, Zaheerabad, Medak district of Andhra Pradesh from 7th to 9th October 2003. The main objective of this workshop was to have common platform for horizontal sharing of knowledge between farmers and scientists on subjects like in situ conservation of germplasm, need for preparation of Community Biodiversity Registers, ethnoveterinary practices of the traditional healers in the villages across different areas, etc.

During the three-day programme, farmers from different districts shared their information of the different landraces that are in cultivation in their areas, different methods of storing the seeds for next season at the farmers' level. Later farmers were explained about the need and importance of conserving the farmers' varieties, the procedures that NBPGR follows for collection, evaluation and conservation of vegtitatively propagated material as well as seeds. Later, farmers were taken to the fields and shown the practices like pitting, planting, layering and grafting of the horticultural plants, preparation of Community Biodiversity Registers using PRA. Farmers were also shown the videos on the preparation of Community Biodiversity Registers, Agricultural Biodiversity in Deccan region, different farmers' seed storage practices from different parts of the country, etc.

On the second day of the programme, two quiz programmes were conducted for the participants- one on ethoveterinary medicine and the other on the agriculture. Participants representing different districts were selected based on their knowledge on these issues.

On the last day of the workshop, a unique videoconference was arranged with the technical support from MANAGE between farmers / participants and scientists from Agricultural University and ICAR. It was the first of its kind which has provided a direct interface of the farmers with a team of scientists drawn from different fields covering subjects like plant breeding, biotechnology, plant pathology, agricultural extension, agricultural economics, and agroforestry. Participants interacted directly with the scientists on issues GMOs in agriculture, problems in marketing, pests and disease problems of different dry land crops etc.