An article in today's The Hindu highlights the importance of custodian farmers to safeguard and use biodiversity in their regions, through their knowledge and access to diverse seeds.
At a 2-day meeting in Chennai, Prof M.S. Swaminathan said: “Protect, encourage and reward these custodians. Women especially have a major role to play in preserving biodiversity.” He suggested the inclusion of millets in the mid-day meal programme as it made sense from the point of view of nutrition as well as climate resilience for food production.
The meeting was part of a project, coordinated by Bioversity International, Italy, and funded by International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), looking at placing more emphasis on neglected and underutilized species through on-farm conservation efforts.
Update on 26th February: Another article 'Preserve Traditional Seed Varieties' also appeared in the New Indian Express emphasizing the need for national policies to promote millets.