Kerala has dominated the National Plant Genome Saviour Awards for the second successive year by grabbing the community award as well as the newly-introduced individual awards.
While the Plant Genome saviour Community Award for 2012 was bagged by Palakkad Rice Farming Community, Ciby Kallingal of Pattikkad, Thrissur, and N Vasavan of Pachapoika in Kannur, have won the individual awards for plant genome conservation.
The official communique intimating the nominations for these awards instituted through Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right (PPV&FR) authority and confirming award ceremony has been received at KAU which sponsored and recommended the awardees.
The first community award instituted in 2011 was won by Pokkali farmers sponsored by KAU. Individual awards introduced from 2012 also have graced Kerala farmers first.The community award carries `10 lakh, a memento and a citation, whereas the individual awards carry cash price of `1 lakh along with a memento and a citation. The awards will be given away by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on May 22.
The Akampadam-Chimpanchia Padasekhara Samiti led by B Pradeesh has been selected for the Community Award for Plant Genome award on the basis of archetypal services for protection of traditional varieties and conservation of germplasm. The samiti also partnered with KAU to produce the first ever varieties developed through participatory research viz. ‘Kunjukunju Varna’ and ‘Kunjukunju Priya’ as part of the innovative GALASA (Group Approach on Locally Adaptable and Sustainable Agriculture) programme introduced by KAU.
The germplasm conserved by Palakkad farmers have also been the gene source for many high-yielding varieties developed by leading research institutions like IRRI, DRR and CRRI as well as universities.