“It was worrying that farmers had lost the pride and sense of ownership towards their own traditional knowledge.”
-Dr. Vanaja Ramprasad, Founding Trustee, GREEN Foundation
When GREEN Foundation initially started its work, we became aware that much of the indigenous knowledge and oral tradition had been lost within a few short decades. Moreover, farmers had lost a sense of pride in their own culture. This knowledge provided invaluable understanding to sustainable practices that could greatly benefit the agricultural sector.
Our efforts have been focused on verifying, documenting and disseminating the centuries old indigenous knowledge of farmers. GREEN has used the Participatory Rural Appraisal method to document much of this oral tradition.
“Once, when I wanted to sow dodda jowar, a local variety of millet, I treated the seeds with a mixture of gandaka and tutte (local medicinal plants) soaked in water. After the seeds were completely dried, I decided to sow them. After sowing more than three fourths of the land, I ran short of treated seeds. Hence I sowed the remaining land with the untreated seeds that I had brought along. When the crop was 3 feet high, it was attacked by smut disease and I realized that the portion of the crop with treated seeds was free from this disease. That is when I realized the importance of seed treatment,” says Shri Chouti of Chinnikatte village.
Many traditional practices like the one described by Shri Chouti hold vital clues to sustainability. We believe that forgotten cultural practices must be revived within the community so that farmers in the future may have access to this alternate, sustainable means of agriculture.