Author Topic: Saving landraces of rice in India  (Read 29 times)

Diane Whitehead

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Saving landraces of rice in India
« on: 2019-11-08, 08:44:30 PM »
An article by Debal Deb in the October 2019 issue of Scientific American - "Restoring Rice Biodiversity"

Until the Green Revolution of the 1970s, there were 110, 000 rice landraces in India.  Some contained  high quantities of certain nutrients, like iron,  others could grow in floods, saline soils, droughts, or withstand insects and diseases.

Government agriculture advisors continue to discourage the growing of traditional varieties, and official seedbanks like that of the International Rice Research Institute don't distribute seeds to farmers, or even researchers like Debal Deb.  Instead, they are helping companies to hybridize and patent new varieties.

Deb quit his job as an ecologist with World Wide Fund for Nature-India and set up Basudha Farm where he maintains 1420 kinds of rice on less than 0.7 hectares.  He has helped set up more than 20 other seed banks in various parts of India, and promotes seed-exchange networks.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil