Wednesday, May 27, 2015

EVENT : Traditional Maize Workshop and Mela

A 2 day --Traditional Maize Workshop & Mela was organised by Sahaja Samrudha, ASHA,Banyan roots and VAAGDHARA at Udaipur-Rajasthan where custodian farmers from 8 states namely – Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab & Uttarakhand conserving more than 50 types of traditional Maize in spectacular colors like Red, Cherry, Orange, Purple, White apart from the common Yellow participated. 

Apart from the amazing diversity of Maize in different parts of India, the participants discussed and presented the diverse characteristics of traditional Maize that can grow in different agro-climatic zones ranging from sea level to 3000 metres, in different soil types and terrain. Different Maize varieties with duration ranging from 60 days to 180 days with varied heights, number of cobs, and other unique features were discussed. Apart from the agronomic practices the spectacular cultural-nutritional & medicinal uses along with different recipes were presented.

In spite of the clich├ęd view that traditional Maize is low yielding and thus cannot meet the current challenges of food security; the custodian farmers were unanimous that under field conditions in diverse terrains, traditional Maize shows yields upto 2 MT/ac which is comparable to the yields of hybrid varieties under rain-fed conditions. However with simple seed selection and agronomic practices farmers can enhance yields greatly.

The farmer collective as a whole felt there is strong need to promote these unique traditional varieties that are not only more fit to face the challenge of climate change and pest infestation but at the same time has unique nutritive and medicinal advantages that are completely absent in modern varieties e.g – Red & Purple Maize has some of the highest levels of Anthocyanin that have anti-cancer properties.
Many of these unique grains and Maize based products are available at Banyan Roots--A complete organic store at Udaipur.

The group unanimously resolved to take up traditional Maize conservation and multiplication of the traditional varieties instead of the hybrid maize being promoted by the Govt research systems and seed industry.

If any organization and individuals are interested in take up desi maize cultivation and value production , pl contact Krishna Parsad-09880862058 or Soumik- 09430168663  
Sahaja Samrudha
'Nandana', No-7, 2nd Cross,
7th Main, Sulthanpalya, Bangalore-560 032
Phone: 080-23655302 / 9880862058
www.sahajasamrudha.org

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