|Eleventh Annual Mobile Biodiversity Festival flagged off|
The Eleventh Annual Biodiversity Festival of the Deccan Development Society is inaugurated on January 22, 2010 in Medak District of Andhra Pradesh.
The month-long festival, known the world over for its cultural vibrancy and environmental significance will travel through nearly 55 villages and will conclude on February 13, 2010.
The first Biodiversity Festival of the DDS was held in 1999. Greatly buoyed up by the response it received, the Festival was made mobile from 2001. The festival generated an unprecedented energy and an enlightened awareness on the issue of biodiversity in all the villages.
The Deccan Development Society was a key constituent of the National Technical and Policy Core Group for the Ministry of Environment & Forests in the massive National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan carried out all over India during 2001-2003. As part of this work, in 2001, the Society initiated the concept of a Mobile Biodiversity Festival in which bullock carts decked with traditional seeds, and carrying the message of agricultural biodiversity and its importance to farmers, travelled from village to village covering over 70 villages. This festival generated a never-before cultural energy and an informed awareness on the issues of biodiversity in all the villages. And it found resonance when the final National Biodiversity Action Plan hailed the biodiversity festivals as a tool for the promotion of agro biodiversity all over the country and recommended that the Community Gene Banks model of the DDS be adopted as a national model.
Elated by this development, the Deccan Development Society has continued to celebrate the Mobile Biodiversity Festival as an annual feature. The festival which emblazons environmental spirituality is once again celebrating the return of the Sun on the auspicious Makara Sankranti day with bullock carts, folk singers and dancers, spreading abundant joy along the village roads of Medak and will dialogue with over 50,000 farmers on the issue of biodiversity, local seeds and dryland farming. The caravan started from Village Metlakunta, Nyalkal Mandal.
Dr Hampaiah, Chairman, AP State Biodiversity Board & Mr Ashok Kumar Retired IAS & Member, AP State Biodiversity Board, Mr Chandrasekhar, Joint Director – Agriculture Dept., Mr Jayadevulu, Chief Executive Officer, Medak Zilla Parishad, Smt Nagamma Manikgoud, Sarpanch, Metlakunta, Mr Vilas Reddy, Former President, Mandal Praja Parishad, Nyalkal Mr Srinivas, Scientist, DATT centre, Sangareddy, Mr Viswanath Patil, Karnataka Rajya Rythu Sangha, Bidar were took part in the Inaugural Ceremony.
Addressing the gathering Dr Hampaiah said APSBB decided to work with the Deccan Development Society (DDS) to protect and promote millet and other crops across the State and to organise these programmes at mandal level. DDS director P.V. Satheesh said that the programme was aimed at protecting the traditional crops which represent the culture.
An eight year old girl belongs to Pastapur village Mayuri shot a film on Ratnavva, who was able to cultivate her two-acre farm in Dhanvar village without using any pesticides or getting any seed from the government. Ratnavva has been doing so for the last ten years. “We are able to identify the hidden talent in her and tried to bring it out. It will be helpful for other children also to exhibit their talent and interests,” Mr. Satheesh said. Ratnavva & Mayuri were honoured by Dr Hampaiah.
Satheesh requested Joint Director Agriculture to introduce awards to farmers who grow dryland crops instead of giving to only commercial crops growers.
Mr Jayadevulu, CEO of Zilla Parishad says that I have seen all these crops in my childhood days and I am very happy to see all here in your region. Now especially Ragi Ambali, the fancy name is Ragi Malt using lot of urban people because of dietary and health reasons.
Four Biodiversity Conservers Cheelamamidi Laxmamma, Khasimpur Lachamma, Matoor Chandramma, Metlakunta Rajamma were honoured for their contribution to biodiversity.
On this occasion Dr Hampaiah released the Millet Calendar and Millet T-shirts.
The festival will culminate on 13th February 2010 at Machnoor Village of Jharasangam Mandal.