2of new varieties. Today, with the entry of the multina-tional sector in seed production and supply as well asnew technologies for producing seed, seed varietieshave been given a variety of names depending on whoevolved it, how it was evolved and its potential formaking profits.
are those varieties which havebeen developed by farmers over the years to suit theirecological, nutritional, taste, medicinal, fodder, fuel,and other needs. These have sometimes been calledlandraces to distance them from the contributions thatfarmers have made towards their evolution throughselection. They have also derogatorily been calledprimitive cultivars in contrast to elite cultivars as thoseevolved by scientists. Farmers’ varieties like any otherseed variety, are an embodiment of intellectual contri-bution. Farmers’ varieties are perennial and sustainable.Farmers’ varieties are also referred to as indigenousseeds, native seeds, organic seeds, heirloom seeds andheritage seeds, jwaari, nate, desi etc.
High yield varieties (HYVs)
, or green revolution seeds are misnamedbecause the term implies that the seeds are high yielding in and of themselves.The distinguishing feature of these seeds, however, is that they are highlyresponsive to certain key inputs such as fertiliser and irrigation. They areactually,
high response varieties.
Though these seeds can be saved by farmers,they are non-sustainable due to vulnerability to diseases and pests and thereforeneed to be replaced after one or two crops.
are the first generation seeds (F1) produced from crossing twogenetically dissimilar parent species. The progeny of these seeds cannoteconomically be saved or replanted, as the next generations will give muchlower yields.Hybridisation is only one of the breeding techniques. It does provide high-yielding varieties, but so do other breeding techniques. It is thus like biologicalpatenting the seed. No one else, neither the farmer nor a rival company, canproduce exactly similar seeds unless they know the parent lines, which are thecompany’s secrets. This characteristic of the hybrid seed has been fundamentalto the rapid growth of the American Seed Industry. The corporate seed sectorin India is also involved mainly in the development of hybrid seeds includingseeds of maize, sorghum, vegetables, and foodgrains.The hybrid seeds are also called “Sarkari” seeds as these seeds have initiallybeen developed and distributed by the public sector in India.Today there are three kinds of producers of seed:a.)Farmer Seeds: the farmer has historically been the producer of perennialvarieties, which could reproduce themselves eternally.b.)Public Sector Seeds: Public sector research institutions have bred short termvarieties for “high yield”. These seeds could for some time be saved andused by the farmer, but their yield reduces after a few years.
o increase soil fertility, we can take 10 kilosof cow dung and add 250gm of Ghee, stir for4 hrs, to it add 500 gm of honey and 1 kg of jaggery then again stir for 4 hours. After that itbecomes very good food for soil micro-organ-isms. To it add 200 liters of water. We call itAmrit pani/Sanjivini pani. Apply it to one acre of land. Then mulch it. Fourteen hundred farmersof Maharashtra, Goa are using this method toincrease their wealth of earthworms in the soil.These earthworms guide other microorganismfor supplying nutrient to the plants. A farmerPandharpur in Maharashtra has a 23-acrevineyard, where he is using this method. Hisfarm yielded grapes to a tune of 1 tonnes peracre, which is a record.
- Kunwarji Bhai Zadav,
All India Kisan Sabha