ROF Community Seed Bank for Native Seed Conservation
In 2016, we started this initiative to collect, cultivate, multiply and propagate our rich bio-diversified indigenous and native varieties of vegetables, paddy, millets and other crops of India. Our vision is to restore and popularize our vast diversified heirloom varieties of vegetables and crops among Indian farmers and home gardeners. Also impart our indigenous traditional wisdom about seed preservation methods to younger generation through our ROF Community Seed Bank.
Like there is a temple in every village today, having a Seed Bank for Native Seeds is a necessity today to regain our Seed Sovereignty and become self-reliant– Pradeep Kumar Manickam, Director, Rangamalai Organic Farms
We believe that every farmer or home gardener should have their own native seed bank in their farm or home which would make their farm self-sustainable. We collected close to 180 rare and indigenous vegetable seed varieties in a very short span of time. We would like to thank local farmers and other likeminded friends who helped us in our seed collection journey which has just began.
We started the heirloom vegetable garden in 20 cents of land at our farm. We collected seeds from native seed savers and seed banks across India. With the very minimal seeds obtained per variety, we raised the garden from saplings and direct sowing. Since all these seeds were native varieties, they adapted well to our local environment and grew well than our expectation. We harvested the entire batch for seeds and started distribution of these native varieties to interested home gardeners and farmers across India.
In continuation to our effort to collect and distribute native seeds, we always longed to build a natural sustainable building for preserving and storing the seeds using indigenous storage techniques practiced in India for centuries. As result, we started our first Community Seed Bank project in June 2018 in association with Thannal Hand Sculpted Home (www.thannal.com) who volunteered to design and build for us at our farm in Tamil Nadu. This project was designed by Mr. Biju Bhaskar, Thannal. We successfully inaugurated the Community Seed Bank and become operational from 9th Feb 2020.
Case Study about our Community Seed Bank project was published United Nations One Planet Network (OPC) for Sustainable Building and Construction Program
A case study about our farm and our Community Seed Bank Natural building project were published in United Nation’s One Planet Network – Sustainable Building and Construction Program 2022.
Our Community Seed Bank project is one of 26 case studies finalized in Asia Pacific Circular Built Environment Highlights report 2022.
A crucial role of the reports is not only to provide a benchmark but also recommendations on how to move forward towards a sustainable and circular built environment. Most important sustainable development goals and indicators for circularity from the UN2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were identified through a survey.
This is one of the most prestigious international recognitions for us, all the volunteers who worked on this project with us and our villager.
United Nations Article link: https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/knowledge-centre/resources/community-seed-bank-karur-tamil-nadu-rangamalai-organic-farms
For Complete Asia Pacific Report: (Refer Page#78-81 for the case study)
To learn more about the CSB project, refer this link: https://manvasanai.in/our-programs/community-seed-bank-for-native-seeds/