Gobar Times
Green School

Investigate and Discover

Be a GT Rice Reporter!

    Investigate and discover   

Rice India

India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of crop diversity. Over hundreds of years of farming in different ecological settings, the farmers of India have bred and grown thousands of varieties of rice. So many varieties and so many ways to grow them!

This genetic wealth is fast eroding. People living in cities today are ignorant of this fact and are not concerned. After reading this issue of GT, we hope you feel strongly about this and wish to change the state of affairs. To begin with atleast we can collect and document this ecological history of our country.

Every region in India has a different story to tell. Why don’t you investigate the rice scene in your locality? Find out the types of rice available in your local area, how farmers grow them and ask them how things have changed. Interview your local grocer, visit your towns wholesale market, ask your grandparents of the kinds of rice they ate...

What's the colour, size of grain and quality?
Long, medium or round? Broken grains or not?
Cheap? Expensive?
No market for it? Why not?


Why are farmers no longer growing traditional varieties?

What's the local name?
What does the name tell us?


What special ecological characteristics does this variety have? Grows under drought  conditions? Under water? In saline water?

Taste? Smell?
Nutitional value?
Any health benifits?
Who grows these local varieties? Why grow them at all?


Who grows these local

What's the religious and cultural
significance? Any anecdotes?

We wish this to be a collaborative and voluntary effort between GT readers across the county and us. Anyone can participate - an individual, a family, a class or school. Feel free to contact us for any clarifications or help you may want. We will compile all your reports and publish the results in a forthcoming issue. All participants will get a surprise gift. Last date for submission: 15 March 2004

Send your 'Rice India' project reports to:

Gobar Times, Centre for Science and Environment, 41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi 110062.
Fax: (011) 2995 5879 Email: panditji@cseindia.org


India is home to one of the greatest
diversities of both wild and
cultivated crops

It is claimed that around 4,00,000 varieties of rice existed in India during the vedic period

Dr Richharia, a well know rice scientist, has collected and identified 20,000 varieties of rice in the Chhattisgarh area of Madhya Pradesh alone

75% of Indian rice production comes from 10 rice varieties – out of 30,000 that existed a few decades ago

Most indigenous varieties are resistant to pests, require less farm inputs like fertilizers and pesticides and they yield straw that is valuable to the farmer as cattle feed and roofing material

While rice is just oryza sativa in Latin; the names of some of the varieties in local languages tell far more about the variety; Kaala naaj - black grain, latmardifficult to thresh, basmati -fragrant rice


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Investigate and Discover