Scholarship Update: Vasantha Kumari
Vasantha Kumari, from the Amrita Bhoomi agroecology center in south India, received a scholarship from Grow Ahead for her work on the conservation of local seeds in April 2018. Vasantha is the seed coordinator of Amrita Bhoomi, which is a farmer’s agroecology school run by the farmers movement of the state of Karnataka. Vasantha is now single-handedly managing the seed program at Amrita Bhoomi.
Over the last six months, Vasantha has produced and distributed 26 varieties of vegetable seeds, many of which she has newly learned about from other seed growers. This was part of her approach to strengthening her skills and putting them to practice.
She has also been leading trainings for both women and men as a way to expand her learning to others in the community. Recently, she developed a seed bio-diversity plot, through which she has been conserving rare varieties of vegetable seeds-like heirloom tomatoes-and documenting them. The deed bio-diversity plot is a great space of collaboration as she gets seeds and new techniques from fellow seed savers.
Vasantha is also part of the team at Amrita Bhoomi that is helping to translate an important seed book by the author Deepika Kundaji from English to Kannada. The translation is essential to being more accessible and so it can be utilized as a training material for others. The book is a great resource for seed savers and Vasantha has learned many new techniques from this book.
Apart from this, Vasantha has been gaining exposure by attending many events to exchange, share and talk about seeds.
Photos Top to Bottom
- Vasantha at a government fair in Jan 2019.
- Seeds produced by Vasantha for distribution.
- March 2019, Vasantha with a volunteer after having harvested rare tomato varieties from her bio-diversity block.
- Vasantha with another staff of Amrita Bhoomi, at a seed fair in 2019.
- Rare Tomatos harvested from the bio-diversity plot.
- Women preparing baskets in the traditional method of seed storage under the supervision of Vasantha.
Post written by Amrita Bhoomi team