Lahiri Bai, the 'Millet Woman' from MP
Lahiri Bai, the 'Millet Woman' from MP

Agro gamechanger: This 'Millet Woman' lauded at Indore G20 exhibit for preserving extinct seeds

The newly innovated 'Sugar-free' variety of potatoes, touted as an ideal food option for diabetic patients were also showcased at the exhibit.

Indore is presently hosting G20's 1st Agriculture Workgroup (AWG) Meet between February 13-15. Set to provide a platform on a wide range of issues related to agriculture and its impact on the environment and society, nearly 100 delegates from G20 nations are taking part in the meeting.

Lahiri Bai, the 'Millet Woman' who is a resident of Silpadi village in the Dindori district of MP, who previously gained recognition from the state CM and Indian Prime Minister for collection and conservation of more than 150 varieties of millet seeds including kodo, kutki, sikiya, sawa and chena also garnered widespread acclamation among the delegates at the AWG meet.

The untapped potential of millet grains

Lahiri showcased a diverse variety of extinct seeds and millets and also informed the delegates about the production and importance of millets consumption, which are often referred as storehouses of nutrition and are quite rich in fibre, minerals and antioxidants.

On the other hand, another farmer from the state, Simrol Nisha Patidar displayed a special 'sugar-free' variety of potatoes during the exhibition. The innovative and health-conscious crop is being touted as an ideal food option for diabetic patients.

Furthermore, attendees from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a global-level agriculture-oriented body, also showcased more than a hundred varieties of millet seeds during the exhibition.

Lahiri Bai – the 'Millet' woman of India

Hailing from the Baiga (healer) tribal community, a particularly vulnerable tribal group in Madhya Pradesh, Lahiri Bai managed to become a notable figure in the agricultural world and was even dubbed as the 'Millet Woman' due to her remarkable efforts in the conservation of diverse millet varieties and laying special emphasis on the untapped potential of these seeds.

Over the course of a decade, she dedicated herself to the preservation of indigenous seeds that had become extinct in her region. Her tireless efforts involved sourcing seeds from the neighbouring villages, cultivating and distributing them to local farmers who sowed these seeds in small sections of their fields, and thanks to her perseverance, numerous varieties of millets that were once thought to be lost forever have been successfully conserved.

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