Conservation of agro biodiversity and wild food resources is need of the hour for seed sovereignty and nutritional security especially during uneven rainfall. Certain paddy varieties like Raibhog, kolpi, kalbhat are sustaining and giving better yield and Hyacinth bean varieties like Kadu wal and goad wal can grow on residual moisture. So she intends to conserve and promote the production of these varieties.
Though an illiterate Rahibai has a deep understanding on crop diversity and with this knowledge she began her work 10 years ago with the aid of BAIF. She started with a nursery of Black berry (4000 seedlings). She then established a nursery of hyacinth beans (9 types)-5000 seedlings, Rice, vegetables, Beans landraces and shared them with 210 farmers in 7 villages of Akole Block.
Now she is an active member of Kalsubai Parisar Biyanee savardhan Samiti, Akole and has established a community seed bank in her small house for conservation and revival of crop diversity and wild food resources.
Scalability and Impact
At present about 122 landraces of 32 crops (Paddy, Millets, Beans, vegetables, Oil seeds etc) are under conservation. Also, she prepared and sold 4000 seed packets for kitchen gardens. She has expertise in the SRI method of Paddy cultivation, improved cultivation practices for Tomato and Hyacinth Bean, Participatory seed selection and Organic farming techniques. She is creating awareness in Women for participation in the Self-Help movement, Village sanitation, clean kitchen, Seed Conservation and wild food exhibitions.
Awards and Recognition
- Felicitated with The Best Seed Saver award by Krishi Vidgyan Kendra, Bhableshwar.
- BAIF‟s Best Farmer Award,2014-15
- Appreciated by Dr.Prem Mathur, Bioversity International and Dr.R.R.Hanchinal, Chairperson, PPV & FRA,
Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi during their visit Jawhar block in Jan 2015,
- MPKV Rahuri scientist team visited her hyacinth bean diversity Centre.