Article Courtesy : Times of India
Goa has 28 traditional varieties of rice which are specific to its geographical area and can be patented, a research paper by Goa University's department of botany has revealed. It was released on Tuesday by chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Some of the varieties are unique as they can be cultivated in saline areas like the khazan land, it states.
The paper, by assistant professor S Krishnan and researcher Shilpa Bhonsle, is set to be translated into Konkani to assist the propagation and promotion of tradition varieties as against chemically altered ones, which have lower pest and disease resistance.
Around 50 traditionally-cultivated and high yielding varieties have been documented in the book based on data collected from elderly persons and farmers across Goa. Out of the 50, 28 varieties were found to be traditional and 22 introduced from other states, says the project paper, sanctioned by the state's directorate of science and technology.
Rice is predominantly grown in three types of areas in Goa-morod or uplands, kherlands or midlands ,and khazan lands or saline lands, the research published in a book format titled 'Rices of Goa and their Grain Quality,' states.
"Some of the traditionally- cultivated rice varieties in Goa such as Korgut, Assgo and Muno are unique gene pools since these are known to be highly salinity-tolerant; they are grown in khazan lands. Their traits should be incorporated to produce newer varieties of rice. Goa has 28 varieties of rice specific to its geographical area and can be patented," one of the researchers, Krishnan, said.
In Goa, farmers are reluctant to cultivate rice due to low profits, increased labour costs, small land holdings and lack of technical knowledge on rice cultivation, he added.
The other researcher, Bhonsle, said that "some of the rice varieties are indigenous and could be used for biotechnological research to improve yield, tolerance, disease resistance and grain quality."
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