Crop Diversity

News Today 04.05.2022

As one of the world’s 17 mega-diverse countries, vis-a-vis its flora and fauna, sustaining crop diversity is of critical importance in India. For a country to be considered a “mega-diverse”, it needs to have at least 5,000 species of endemic plants and marine border ecosystems. How is India managing this bounty of nature that also assures its food security? With affection and passion? With meticulous cropping programmes for various agro-climatic zones? Or with callousness? Sustaining this mega-diversity is a factor of diligent crop management with specific cropping programmes with regard to regional crops, mixed crops, nutritional aspects, availability of water and soil types. India seems to be falling short on all these counts. (Read More)

It would be mind-boggling to see the wide variety of cereals available in India that are facing extinction and amusing or disgusting to see the official reaction to the numbers. There were 5,500 varieties of rice in West Bengal and 82,000 (as per the Annual Report of National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resource, New Delhi, 2007-08) in all of India. The usual derogatory remarks against those varieties are: “All those varieties were selected by the illiterate farmers”, low yielders with most varieties rarely seen in farmers’ fields. (Read More)


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