Rahibai Soma Popere lives in the tribal village Kombhalne, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra. Realizing that less and less of indigenous crops were growing and not longer available for consumption, she single-handedly began to collect and protect seeds throughout her environment and eventually became known as Seed Mother. Published on BBC on November 25, 2018.
Rahibai is conserving and multiplying 48 indigenous landraces of 17 different crops including paddy, hyacinth bean, millets, pulses, and oilseeds. She has also planted approximately 500 trees around her house and half of the farmers living nearby have embraced the use of indigenous seeds. Although initially people made fun of her, she persevered because she realized the importance of her task.
The now 55-year-old also travels across Maharashtra and beyond to conserve indigenous seeds. Besides conserving them, she creates awareness about the importance of organic farming, conserving indigenous seeds, agro-biodiversity and wild food resources.
If I hadn’t tolerated their remarks and comments,
these seeds would have vanished from the Earth.
Nothing would have remained,
if I had listened and stayed quiet.
For more information about Rahibai and her far-reaching work, read here.