On-farm conservation of Indigenous vegetables and strengthening community based seed banking in seti river valley, Pokhara, Nepal

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December 1998


The paper explores the status of varietal diversity in some selected summer and winter vegetables and the state of knowledge associated with them in the communities within the Seti River Valley of Nepal. Out of 14 species studied, the appreciable number of landraces exist in case of bitter gourd (6), snake gourd (4), sponge gourd (4), pumpkin (3) and Dolichos bean (3). Vegetables like broad leaf mustard and radish, though most common and important winter vegetable, have the least diversity with one landrace each. It was found that these vegetables are primarily grown for home consumption with minimum external inputs and management. But the same landraces when grown commercially, the status changes with input levels and management improving substantially. The level of varietal/landraces diversity was found to have inverse relation with the level of urbanisation. Contrary to the general belief that commercialisation decreases species and varietal diversity, the study found that commercialisation could, in fact, increase species and varietal diversity provided vegetable landraces are commercialised. Home gardens are managed by women farmers and have key role in maintaining active seed flow system within and outside the village. After analysing the findings of the study, ways forward have been suggested basically on three spheres: value addition and market promotion for vegetable Iandraces; awareness creation at different levels and reintroduction through participatory crop improvement processes.