A rare rice variety, traditionally grown in the tribal areas of Wayanad in Kerala will have a new lease of life, thanks to the efforts of the a team of research scholars from India and Germany to popularise it among local farmers.
The rice variety was named ‘Gandhakassala’ and its preservation would help in conserving the bio-diversity of Wayanad, besides protecting the particular rice variety, said Professor Martina Padmanabhan, team leader of BioDIVA, an inter-disciplinary research team, which is now working with MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai.
The team is studying about social, economic and ecological aspects of biodiversity in rice farming in Wayanad district. It recently organised a three-day national level dialogue on ‘Cultivating Diversity: Transdisciplinary research on agrobiodiversity and land use change’ at MSSRF, Chennai.
Speaking to Express, Martina said, “In Wayanad, the agricultural land is gradually shrinking and there is no market for local rice varieties. People claim that due to schemes like the MGNREGS, the agriculture labour cost has gone up”.