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Seed bank established to save indigenous crops in Nepal

With various crops grown in the district possessing immense health benefits being pushed to the verge of extinction as their value was not being understood by a majority of the people, the rural municipality formed Masta Small Farmer Cooperative.

It has organized the farmers to run a campaign to conserve different indigenous crops of the region.   

As part of the campaign, the cooperative established a community seed bank which is managed by a seven-member committee. Dhir Bahadur Khadka, chairman of the community seed bank, said that some varieties of indigenous crops had already disappeared.

“If we do not start conserving indigenous crops immediately, more of them will disappear in a few years,” he said. “We are encouraging farmers to cultivate indigenous crops that are close to becoming extinct.”

The seed bank has stored seeds of indigenous varieties of paddy such as Tagmaro, Ladmandya, Ubho Deshi, Sunakhari, Rato Dhan, Ram Jamuna and Jauli Dhan. Likewise, seeds of indigenous crops such as Marshiya, Kodo, Kaguna, Fapar, Rato Jhalo, Chamandya Katho, Mundullo, Baddi wheat and Bhadaure maize, among others, are also being preserved. The bank has stored seeds of different varieties of soybeans and pulses in order to sell them to farmers at a fair price when they need them.

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