Tribal Farming Beats Climate Change
IPS, 27 April 2012

RAYAGADA, INDIA: For Harish Saraka and other subsistence farmers in 70 Niyamgiri villages in Rayagada, adapting to changing conditions meant reverting to traditional farming methods such as mixed cropping, the use of organic fertilisers and trusted seed varieties. Saraka recalls that his forebears sowed three different seeds in the same field: millet, legume, oilseed and maybe a creeper bean. Debjeet Sarangi who heads ‘Living Farms’, an NGO that works with marginal farmers, says the movement in India to return to traditional seeds is growing stronger. In 2008, Living Farms began a programme of giving poor families seeds on condition that after harvest the same quantity would be returned plus 10 percent ‘interest’ to be put into grain banks. Simple woven bamboo baskets sealed with thick clay-and cow dung daub, the grain banks are managed by Kondh women and opened only in times of need. Read the article …