The 8th Community Seed Festival in Wayanad on March 1-2, 2024, concluded with a commitment to conserve biodiversity for a sustainable future.

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Wayanad, March 1-2, Friday and Saturday saw the conclusion of the 8th Edition of the Wayanad Community Seed Fest, a two-day event hosted by the Community Agrobiodiversity Centre of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF CAbC) in collaboration with the Wayanad District Tribal Development Action Council (WDTDAC) and Seed Care.

This distinctive festival is held yearly with the goals of promoting community involvement in agrobiodiversity cultivation and conservation as well as honouring the abundant biodiversity of the Western Ghats. The event, which was held amidst the scenic backdrop of Wayanad, Kerala, provided a forum for empowerment, information sharing, and the celebration of seed diversity. At the event, people from different backgrounds—such as farmers, researchers, students, business owners, and women came together to exchange knowledge and experiences.

Three community genome savior awards were awarded at the occasion to the families of Wayanad’s tribal farm conservators in recognition of their devoted work to conserve agrobiodiversity.

The agrobiodiversity exhibitions, which featured a rich display of traditional varieties of banana, tubers, pulses, vegetables, and spices by the custodian farmers and genome saviors throughout areas, were a main attraction at the festival. The festival’s seed exchange program, which allows farmers to swap traditional seed kinds to promote agrobiodiversity and guarantee the conservation of native crops, was one of its highlights.

As a pledge to conserve our seed diversity, the elders pass on their knowledge of seeds to the younger generation during the event and Padmasree Sri Cheruvayal Raman passed on traditional seeds to the younger kids at the event this year.

This year’s festival included a wide range of activities, including technical lectures on a variety of subjects, such as promoting entrepreneurship, managing healthy seeds, and producing and managing spices sustainably. These discussions offered priceless insights into how to handle modern agricultural issues while preserving indigenous knowledge.

Additionally, kids participated in interactive workshops on food and nutrition, gardening, and nature awareness as part of carefully chosen curricula. Young brains were cultivated to become more conscious of the significance of nature protection at an early age through interactive activities and immersive experiences.

Given the important role that women play, the festival included an open forum where women shared their problems, goals, and ideas. A plant clinic that provided farmers with professional guidance, diagnostic services, and solutions for managing pests and diseases was another element of the festival.

The 8th Wayanad Community Seed Fest came to an end with a common commitment to conserve biodiversity for a more promising and sustainable future, as well as improved partnerships.