‘Mind-boggling variety’: the food crusaders preserving India’s heritage

A rich range of native crops and seeds is being nurtured in an effort to halt the country’s rapidly vanishing food diversity

A small army of botanical heritage enthusiasts is spearheading a movement in India for the revival and preservation of the country’s rapidly vanishing food biodiversity by bringing back the rich crop varieties that thrived in the past, but are now on the verge of extinction.

Babita Bhatt, a 43-year-old former software professional, is just one of these crusaders, who are eschewing established careers and fat pay packets to become farmers, activists and entrepreneurs.

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