Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, GoI, New Delhi has bestowed Plant Genome Saviour Community (PGSC) Award of Rs.10 lakh, Citation and Memento upon Karen community of North & Middle Andaman. The award was conferred by Mr Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture Minister & Farmers’ Welfare, Govt. of India on December 21, 2016 at a function in B.P. Pal Auditorium, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi to Rev. Saw Saytha, President Karen Welfare Association, Mayabunder, North & Middle Andaman. The community was honoured for its contribution to conservation and preservation of traditional and unique rice varieties viz. Khushbuyya, Black Burma, White Burma, Red Burma, Mushley and Nyaw-in etc since 1925.
The PGSC Award is first of its kind conferred upon the farming community of A&N Islands for their contribution for agro-biodiversity conservation. The scientific work was accomplished under the guidance of Dr. S. Dam Roy, Director and scientifically facilitated by Dr. R.K. Gautam (Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Field Crop Improvement & Protection), Dr. P.K. Singh (Principal Scientist, Plant Breeding) and Dr. S.K. Zamir Ahmed (Principal Scientist, Agricultural Extension) of ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair.