Lit by a kerosene lamp, the two-room hut just outside a sleepy hamlet in Odisha’s Rayagada district can easily pass off as any other farmer’s house in this tribal region. Step inside it, and one is taken aback by the hundreds of earthen pots labelled with coded stickers stacked in a corner as well as under the bed.
These pots treasure over 750 varieties of rice grains, some on the verge of extinction. Keeper of the seed bank, Debal Deb, has been collecting and conserving these rare native varieties for over 16 years. His only help are the farmers who still depend on heirloom seeds.
Keeper of grains | Down To Earth