The National Biodiversity Centre in collaboration with the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector Dagana and RNR-RDC Bajo organized a one-day Biodiversity Fair at Dagapela Middle Secondary School on 30th December 2013. The Fair was participated by 119 farmer representatives from various gewogs of Dagana Dzongkhag. The Sector heads, extension agents and gups from nearby gewogs also participated in the Fair. The Chief Guest, Dagana Dzongdhag inaugurated the Fair and briefed the farmers and participants on the importance of agro-biodiversity and food security. The Fair was organized to stimulate farmers to maintain crop diversity in their fields and provide them with opportunity to exchange seeds and knowledge and obtain more information about crops and the diversity in the Dzongkhag.
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 diversity. In recognition
of maintaining the highest diversity and to encourage farmers to maintain diversity, agricultural tools and implements were awarded as prizes. Mr. Krishna Bahadur Katwal from Kana Gewog received the first prize for crop diversity with 50 varieties grown on his farm, while Mr. Krishna Prasad Gurung from Gesarling gewog received the second prize for maintaining forty four varieties of different crops. Ms. Som Maya Bhawal of Tsendagang Gewog took the third prize with 42 varieties. All the participating farmers were also awarded 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).
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.