Thursday, 22 September 2011

Conservation of traditional crop varieties

Over the years, traditional crop varieties fully replaced by High Yielding Varieties(HYVs), Hybrids and genetically modified crops. In India, the first maize hybrid was released in 1961 for general cultivation, followed by hybrid varieties of sorghum, pearl millet, and non-hybrid, high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat. Since, traditional varieties are highly recommended because they have a relatively high nutritional value compared to the introduced varieties, their consumption gives diversity to daily food intake, adding  flavor, special aroma and taste to the diet. These are fully lacking in HYVs. Mainly traditional vegetable varieties are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, dietary fiber and proteins.
    According to rice scientists Richharia and Govindasamy states that in India more than 2 lakhs rice varieties had been identified with the evidence of Vedic and present day literature. But gradually all the local varieties are disappeared. The main reason is steady replacement with the high-yielding varieties (HYVs). And also ‘modern’ varieties continue to be aggressively promoted at the expense and exclusion of traditional varieties. For example, the success of HYVs in farms has often prompted state agricultural scientists and extension staff to promote these crops by exaggerating that their yields, claiming them to be higher than
those of indigenous varieties. But this was not true for many varieties.  Many local varieties yields more than HYVs.(Eg., Kurangu samba, Kitchili samba, etc.). Several native varieties are good resistant to pests and diseases. And those can be cultivated in any adverse conditions like drought, water logging etc.

 Some ingenious rice varieties :
Lakshmi kajal

  •  Chithiraikar
  • Kudaivazhai
  • Puzhuthiikar
  • Bhavani
  • Perungar
  • Vaigunda
  • Pisini
  • Puzhuthi samba
  • Kudhiraival samba
  • Neelan samba 
  • Lakshmi kajal
  • Aruvadhan kodai
  • Kollan samba
  • Kuruvai
  • Mattai 110
  • Soolaikuruvai
  • Mottakur
  • Kattu vaniyam
  • Chomala  
  • Selam  samba 
  • Kurangu samba
  • Bhavani
  • Kitchili  samba


These are all some traditional varieties in rice.

Some of the vegetable varieties:

1. Dindugal local
2. Periyakulam local
3. Vellai Urundai
4. Varikkathithi

1. Bangalore local
2. Guli thakkali
3. Periyakulam local
4. Pink thakkali
5. Sirsi nattu thakkali
6. Nattu thakkali 

1. Kuttai pudalai
2. Nettai pudalai

1. Mithi pakal
2. Kuruvithalai pakal
3. Periyakai pakal
4. Nettai pakal

Nurai peerkai
1. Kuttai peerkai
2. Chori peerkai
3. Mezhugu peerkai
4. Pambu peerkai
5. Nurai peerkai

1. Thalaiyanai poosani
2. Urundai poosani 

1. Belt avarai
2. Pattai avarai
3. Kozhi avarai I
4. Yanaikathu avarai
5. Irakkai avarai
6. Thampattai avarai 

1. Perennial chilli
2. Palur chilli
3. Nattu chilli
4. Kandhari chilli
5. Butter chilli 

Kazuthu surai
1. Kumbam surai
2. Satti surai
3. Pambu surai
4. Kazuthu surai
5. Vatta surai

1. Bangalore local
2. Kulemagali vendai
3. Nattu vendai

In order to promote traditional crop varieties, community seed banks should be established in each village, and required infrastructure facilities need to be developed to enhance the conservation and distribution of traditional rice varieties. And also give more subsidiaries to the local varieties cultivation. Give high prices to farmers who cultivate the indigenous varieties. Give patent and all rights to the local varieties.




  1. I'm a new farmer. Planning to grow only indigenous variety vegetables. Could I know where I can get these indigenous variety vegetable seeds?