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Farmers Push Comeback of ‘Cereal of the Poor’

Inter Press Service - Eshwarappa Banakar has been a farmer most of his adult life, but these days he has also turned banker - banker of seeds, that is, and especially of millet strains.

Yet while his is Karnataka's first seed bank to be set up by an individual farmer, it is only one of the signs of the millet's creeping comeback in the agricultural sector of this southern Indian state.

The welcome trend is partly due to the efforts of Sahaja Samrudha (Bountiful Nature), an organisation working toward reviving the cultivation of traditional millets in Karnataka's dryland tracts. Banakar, for instance, acquired his seeds from the group, which maintains a network of farmers and encourages on- farm conservation of traditional seed varieties. Read more.

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