Agriculture has been practiced for several thousands of years, with people starting to adopt different methods of farming over the years for better yielding of crops. This lady, in spite of not having any formal education has vast knowledge of organic farming and its advantages. She worked relentlessly to encourage the villagers in her area to evade chemical fertilizers and adopt organic farming for better harvest and soil fertility. Her passion towards organic farming got her the recognition to be incorporated as one of the five members in the state planning board and she holds the unique distinction of being the first tribal woman to be included in the list. Conserving paddy and promoting organic farming is not a pastime for her, but it is her passion.

She is Kamala Pujari, a tribal lady of Patraput Village, near Boipariguda, of Koraput District, who is known for promoting organic farming. Her passion for traditional farming led her to MS Swaminathan Research Foundation at Jeypore, to learn the basic techniques. After getting into the foundation, she mobilized people, arranged group gatherings, and interacted with people to avoid chemical fertilizers. Her efforts of visiting different villages and going up to every villager and making them aware of organic farming was reciprocated well.

Ms Kamala, has always been fascinated with traditional paddy seeds which encouraged her to preserve hundreds of indigenous varieties of paddy and other seeds for generations to come.

The government of Odisha felicitated her as the best woman farmer in 2004. She won the Equator of Initiative Award in 2002 and was conferred the national award of “Krusi Bisarada Samman” in New Delhi.

President Ram Nath Kovind conferred her with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, for her selfless dedication and love for farming. VARINDIA feels honoured to feature this magnanimous and benevolent lady in its special edition of the Crown Jewels of Odisha.

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