The National Biodiversity Centre in collaboration with the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector Samdrup Jongkhar and RNR-RDC Bhur organized a one-day Biodiversity Fair at Samdrup Jongkhar Middle Secondary School ground on 17th December 2014.
The Fair was participated by 70 farmer representatives from various gewogs of Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag and a community Seed Bank farmer group from Bumthang Dzongkhag. The regional heads, Dzongkhag Sector heads, extension agents and, students and teachers from nearby schools of the Dzongkhag alsoparticipated in the Fair.
The event was one of the Centre’s activities dedicated to 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyelpo. The Chief Guest, Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongdag inaugurated the Fair and briefed the farmers and participants on the importance of conservation and use of agro-biodiversity for food security and livelihood.
The Fair was organized to stimulate farmers to maintain crop diversity in their fields and provide them with opportunity to exchange seeds and knowledge about the crop diversity in the Dzongkhag.
The famers also showcased their popular food diversity during the fair. The primary objective of showcasing food diversity was to promote cultural values through conservation and use of Agro-biodiversity in the locality.
During the Fair, farmers displayed their seeds and exchanged among farmer groups from different gewogs. The organizers recorded and evaluated the diversity to find out the farmers maintaining the highest crop diversity.
In recognition of maintaining the highest diversity and to encourage farmers to maintain diversity, agricultural tools and implements were awarded as prizes the Chief Guest. Ms. Lhazom from Lauri Gewog received the first prize for displaying the highest crop diversity.
The price for Second highest was backed by Mr. Nima Gyeltshen from Pangthang village of Wangphu Gewog. While Ms. Tshering Yangdon from Belam Sharang, Phuntshothang Gewog received the third price.
All the participating farmers were awarded with agricultural tools and implements as incentives for their efforts as custodians of agro-biodiversity.
The Fair was supported through the on-farm conservation projects funded by International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), and South East Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) and Bioversity International.
Such events are regularly organized by the National Biodiversity Centre and its partners as part of the on-farm conservation program. It provides a platform for exchanging seeds and knowledge amongst different farming communities and creates awareness on the importance of maintaining crop diversity and conservation efforts in the country.