One of the biggest challenges for urban gardeners and farmers during the lockdown has been the lack of options when it comes to sourcing good quality organic seeds.
“Growing your own food is both a sustainable choice and a responsible one, and considering the limited supply of fresh produce from trustworthy sources in the last few months, it is becoming an increasingly popular activity.
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But, the challenge is to get good quality organic seeds — even though they are included in the list of essential services, they are not easily accessible for many,” shares Bengaluru-resident and urban gardener, Soumya K.
To fill this gap, several organisations have come together to make sure high-quality organic seeds can now reach anyone, at their doorstep. Here are five of them.
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru
The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru has launched a portal to deliver quality seeds to their doorstep. On offer are over 60 high-yielding varieties of seeds for flowers, vegetables, and fruit crops.
Branded under the name Arka, referring to its location on the banks of river Arkavathi, the portal will deliver seeds anywhere in the country, even in remote areas, following an online transaction.
Click here to make a purchase.
Founded by prominent environmental activist, physicist, and author Vandana Shiva, Navdanya is a network of seed-keepers and organic producers from across 22 states of India.
Since 1987, the network has helped set up 122 community seed banks (CSBs) and has recovered and preserved thousands of organic heirloom seeds that are non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) and open-pollinated.
Know more here
From native varieties of sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, basil and parsley to artichoke and ageratum flowers , you can find a huge variety of good quality organic seeds at Ugaoo. They pride themselves at providing high yield varieties that have a substantial resistance to pests and disease making them a good choice for both beginners or seasoned gardeners.
With every packet, buyers will receive a detailed note on growing instructions and other related information. From the spacing of sowing seeds to the amount of water to be given, Ugaoo believes in providing an end-to-end guide to growing a garden.
You can buy the seeds here
A network of organic producers, farmers and gardeners, Sahaja sources more than 150 varieties of seeds from farming communities all across the country, who have been conserving them for generations.
Based on the idea of an open-source system which promotes open-pollination, these are carefully handpicked to ensure flavour and nutritional value and are non-GMO.
You can reach them here
Annadana Soil and Seed Savers
This non-profit organisation focuses on sustainable agriculture and preservation of India’s rich and diverse seed heritage. Through their efforts to assist farmers in adopting sustainable and chemical-free agricultural practices, they have been promoting conservation, production, multiplication and exchange of organic seeds of traditional heirloom vegetable varieties for almost 19 years. This year, they revived 57 open-pollinated varieties of seeds.
You can reach out to them here
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)