SHILLONG: Phrang Roy, chairman of the North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) on Thursday inaugurated a community seed bank at Laitsohpliah, East Khasi Hills. After the inauguration, Roy congratulated the community members and said they should preserve the seeds and revive the ones that have been lost. The farmers of Laitsohpliah were asked to come together to help come up with various objectives for the proposed community seed bank.
Some of the objectives which they have come up with include preserving the local seeds and the environment, to provide food security and food sovereignty, to generate income through food supply, to increase accessibility of quality of seeds, to document knowledge related to seeds, to promote the seed bank as an information centre for future generations especially to attract young people towards the local food system and to promote seed exchange among neighbours.
Nester Kharmawphlang, headmaster of Laitsohpliah RCUP SSA School, said, “We have many varieties of seeds which are available in this village alone and some of them are on the verge of extinction. Farming is very important to the residents here as it is a source of livelihood for them.”
He added, “The community seed bank will help them achieve many goals as now they do not have to depend on other villages for seeds. Also, now we can sell the seeds for a price to people from other villages as well.”
On the other hand, Roy said the residents of the village should organize more festivals and food shows to attract tourists and people from across the State. The Laitsohpliah community seed bank is an initiative of NESFAS under the project, in collaboration with REC, ‘No One Shall Be Left Behind Initiative.’
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