20 heritage rice varieties traced and revived in Tamil Nadu

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In a primary, agriculture consultants from the Sastra Deemed University (SDU) in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur tied up with a number of native non-governmental organisation (NGOs) in 24 districts, and arrange 10 seed banks throughout the state in a bid to hint, acquire and restore misplaced heritage rice varieties.

SDU, utilizing the Science and Heritage Research Initiative (SHRI) scheme of the Department of Science and Technology, has thus far benefited greater than 500 farmers by way of the initiative, in response to the consultants. Launched in July 2021, SHRI scheme promotes heritage analysis utilizing preservation methods, diagnostic and intervention applied sciences to protect heritage crops throughout the nation.

The just lately established neighborhood seed banks have helped the vast majority of small and medium farmers within the state to hint and revive a minimum of 20 heritage rice varieties — as soon as owned historically by their neighborhood forefathers, however have been unavailable over the previous few many years because of monocropping of hybrids.

Heritage crop varieties are essential for his or her distinctive dietary, medicinal and ecological advantages — related to the native area — and are sometimes local weather resilient. However, use of heritage rice varieties, identical to different conventional crops, have been declining over the previous few many years and even their seeds are arduous to seek out, stated the consultants.

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Under the initiative, farmers from 24 districts in Tamil Nadu — Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Madurai, Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai, Dindigul, Ariyalur, Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, Karur, Erode, Mayiladuthurai, Ramanathapuram, Ranipet, Salem, Sivaganga, Tenkasi, Thanjavur, Thoothukudi, Thiruvannamalai, Thiruvarur, Tiruchirappalli, Villupuram and Virudhunagar —are being skilled to preserve, enrich and revitalise indigenous heritage germplasm, in addition to on in situ trials for local weather adaptability within the farmer’s subject on a pilot scale. SHRI scheme has been applied in 24 out of the overall 38 districts in Tamil Nadu, as these districts are prevalent in rice cultivation.

SHRI identifies a lead farmer and encourages the particular person to domesticate a conventional rice selection. Once mature, a portion of the harvest is distributed to the neighbouring farmers, and this casual change of seeds is completed with all seed varieties. Also, subject seed banks have been set as much as propagate the heirloom varieties by way of seed change programmes inside the farmers.

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