Venue: Office of Principal Secretary, D.A.F.E, Government of Odisha | Date: October 31, 2017
Dr Sarat Babu, Principal Scientist , Regional Centre , Hyderabad National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) gave a presentation to the committee headed by Dr. Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment(D.A.F.E), Odisha on the Convention of Bio Diversity (CBD) agreement.
This meeting was attended by Mr. Hari Bhallav Mishra IAS, Director, Directorate of Agriculture & Food production, Odisha and Mr. Sanjay Pani, Nodal Officer NFSM Cell and other department officials. He stressed the need to the conserve and document the plant genetic material of millets and pulses indigenous to these regions. As per CBD commitments, Government is mandated to support conservation of germplasm especially in biodiversity-rich areas such as KBK region. He also stressed that in absence of documentation of biodiversity material, communities will not have protection against exploitation by MNCs/Others. There will be no legal basis for benefit sharing. If immediate efforts are not taken, then rich diversity may be irreversibly lost.
He shared that NBPGR is interested in partner with millet mission and document the various indigenous landraces related to millets, pulses, and rice. Landraces thus collected will be studied. Local farmers knowledgeable in seed selection will be trained by NBPGR on the pure line selection of local seeds. Seed collections thus selected after pure line selection will be given back to community seed centres established in the Millet Mission programme for multiplication and supply to farmers.
Dr. Pani, Principal Scientist NBPGR, Regional Center Cuttack shared about the Cuttack centre in conserving the germplasm in Odisha.
Mr Dinesh Balam, State Coordinator, Millet Mission suggested that field level participatory varietal trials with local indigenous germplasm along with indigenous germplasm available at NBPGR and NRRI may be taken up in the Millet Mission programme blocks. This will help in identifying best suited local cultivars which can be further multiplied and supplied to farmers through community seed centers.
Dr Saurabh Garg IAS Principal Secretary, D.A.F.E, Odisha seconded the importance of conserving the biodiversity and ordered a formation of working group to finalise the strategy and submit a report on this before December 2017. This matter will be taken up in the next high powered committee meeting of Millet Mission to be scheduled in January 2018.