Success Story of Paddy Preserver: Padma Shri Kamala Pujari
Padma Shri Kamala Pujari is a woman farmer who has dedicated her life to preserving the traditional methods of rice cultivation in India.
For generations, her family has been involved in rice production, and she has continued this tradition with great success.
Today, she is known as the “Paddy Preserver” for her work in promoting sustainable agriculture and helping farmers to transition from chemical-based to organic methods of cultivation.
Kamla born in a tribal dominated village in Odisha, where people’s main profession was farmer, as she belonged to the farming family the cultivation of crops especially the cultivation process of paddy always fascinated her and this love of her for paddy made her to grow paddy crops on her land and preserve them for latter uses.
Over the years of cultivation and growing paddy crops, she had managed to preserve the variety of paddy crops, turmeric, teel and other endangered seeds and crops.
Alongside her preservation of crops and seeds she also learned the traditional techniques and tools used for cultivation process from the M S Swaminath research center which later on helped her to form seed bank with few other women in her village.
After her training program was done, she was fully motivated to not use the chemical products for growing of crops , she then started teaching and motivating other local farmers near her locality that how the use of chemical products for the use of growing crops can be harmful for us, her efforts that she took to help the farmers around her to make them stop use the chemical products was effective when actually the local farmers started shifting themselves from chemical products to organic products.
Her efforts which she took to preserve paddy and use organic products for agricultural production was recognized nationwide when she was felicitated by President Ram Nath Kovind on 16th when she was awarded by Padma Shree.
This was the very first time when her work was being recognized by the nation for her hard work, prior to that she has also received “best woman farmer” by the Odisha government in 2004.
Under Kamala’s leadership, the farmers of her village have been able to achieve remarkable results. They have increased their yields by using traditional methods of crop rotation and by growing a variety of crops that complement each other.
They have also been able to reduce their use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides by using organic methods of pest control.
As a result of their efforts, the farmers of Kamala’s village are now able to sell their rice at a premium price, and they have become an example for other farmers in India who are looking to transition to sustainable agriculture.
Kamala’s work has not only had a positive impact on the farmers of her village, but it has also helped to raise awareness about the importance of preserving traditional knowledge and practices.
In recognition of her work, Kamala was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors. She continues to work tirelessly to promote sustainable agriculture and help farmers in India to achieve success.