Article Amarkanan Rural Socio-Environmental Welfare Society (ARSW Society)

Discussion in 'Discussion Topics' started by editorialteam, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. editorialteam

    editorialteam Active Member Staff Member

    Explores, collects and preserves time-honored paddy varieties of West Bengal

    172 traditional paddy varieties of West Bengal origin are now protected and the number is increasing slowly but consistently. Dr. Anjan Kumar Sinha has taken the efforts to collect and preserve these native paddy seeds. Every variety is unique in its own way for the amazing medicinal and aromatic properties hence it had to be preserved!
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    Dr. Sinha has formed a farmers group ‘Amarkanan Rural Socio-environmental Welfare Society (ARSW Society)’ that assists him in preserving these paddy crops. It is located at Ranbahal Village, District-Bankura, West Bengal. Farmers are interested in cultivating high-yielding rice varieties and completely ignoring the traditional variants. He says, “They are only thinking about increased production hence are switching to hydrid varieties of paddy but in this way our agricultural treasure shall be lost! Being a farmer’s son I understand the importance of preserving traditional varieties hence along with the teachers’ job I have taken the initiative to preserve our seed wealth.”
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    Presently there are 50 farmer-members in the society. There are absolutely no charges for becoming the members of the society. The only prerequisite is to cultivate the traditional paddy in their fields without any use of the chemical based farming inputs. “Every farmer-member of ARSW Society takes 500 gm-1kg seeds free of cost from us, cultivates it for 3-3.5 months on his farmland, harvests and then returns back 1 kg seeds. There is no exchange of money throughout the process. There are two main advantages for farmer to be associated with us, one he is contributing his share of service to safeguard the lost treasure and he keeps the harvested paddy with him. Approximately one kg seeds yields 50-60 kg rice,” he elaborates on the working of the group.
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    When compared the cultivation process of hybrid and native seeds he explains, “In hybrid seeds cultivation, more farming input is required hence the production expenses increase in every season. On the contrary native seeds yield really well only with use of natural manure. It requires less farming inputs therefore production cost is less.” Seeds are stored in traditional way in the leaf bag that protects the seeds from insects or worms. Every seed is documented with complete details.
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    Sharing the future plans Dr. Sinha says, “We are soon going to publish a book having all the information about these restored traditional paddy varieties. It shall also have the pictures and detailed text on its properties and benefits.” In addition to protecting the traditional paddy crops he also wants to secure the fruits and vegetables. “These days everyone is inclined towards growing and consuming only exotic vegetables and fruits. These are good but our country too has bountiful of crops rich in medicinal properties and fabulous taste, we can pay attention towards it as well. Unfortunately, with no awareness and diminishing interest these varieties are getting extinct. I want to revive it all because we must first value what belong to us instead of putting energies in popularizing on outside crops,” he concludes.

    Dr. Sinha is teaching botony in a degree college. He did his doctorate from Vinoba Agricultural University, Hazaribag.

    Contact details:
    Dr. Anjan Kumar Sinha
    Amarkanan Rural Socio-Environmental Welfare Society (ARSW Society)
    Ranbahal Village, PO-Amarkanan, District-Bankura, West Bengal, 722133.
    Mobile: 09732087491
  2. warsiss

    warsiss New Member

    Very Good work Dr. Anjan - Keep it up - This sort of effort is the need of the hour for protect the biodiversity and the seed bank - Very Good - ALL THE BEST

    To add to your effort you can introduce Natural Farming Practices of ZBNF model of Padamshri Subhas Palekar ji - the final output is more than chemical farming - a social scientist from UP is already working on this for last couple of years and has achieved upto 150% more produce in various crops from local seeds -

    More people like you should join this indigenous seed protection campaign.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  3. editorialteam

    editorialteam Active Member Staff Member

    Dear Warsiss,


    We are glad you like the work of Dr. Anjan.

    In your post you mentioned about 'a social scientist from UP' who has been successful to increase the production upto 150%. Please provide the name and contact details of this gentleman.

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Warm regards,


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