Traditional Crop Varieties / Indigenous Livestock Breeds - Nutritional/Genetic Profiling

After a sudden demand for high-yielding varieties/breeds of crops/livestock, the indigenous ones started getting neglected from the mainstream and are now in the verge of extension. In addition, scarcity of land and the changing land use pattern with phenomena like deforestation is leading to loss of the habitat and consequently genetic erosion of the traditional varieties. The great variability in traditional varieties makes them good sources for genes for plant breeding. It is, therefore, pertinent to capture, conserve and protect the traditional varietal diversity. An appropriate action at this stage would help to save these valuable genetic resources and provide opportunities to meet the future challenges of growing demand of food. Under this tribal heritage project we are offering the following:

Documenting traditional crop varieties like paddy, pepper etc. and traditional agricultural practices.

Genetic profiling of traditional paddy and pepper varieties to authenticate the genetic distance and varietal demarcation.

Nutritional assessment of traditional paddy varieties.

Establishing traditional pepper nursery and field gene bank for protection, promotion and popularization of traditional varieties.

Establishing field gene bank for traditional paddy varieties and setting up mini paddy processing unit at community level.

DBT-RGCB has initiated the establishment of 'Field Gene Bank' of traditional paddy varieties at Wayanad District under DST supported Tribal Heritage Project. After observing the traditional rituals, seeds of 19 traditional varieties were sown to the paddy fields at Makkimala, Thavinjal Panchayath.
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As of now, we have documented 34 traditional paddy varieties from Wayanad District. Genetic and nutritional profiling of these verities are going on to identify the genetic distance among the varieties. Moreover, we have distributed seeds of 19 traditional paddy varieties to establish around 4 hectares of field gene bank in various parts of Wayanad district.

Regarding the traditional blackpepper varieties, as of now, we have documented 26 varieties from Idukki District and to protect and promote these varieties, a community enterprise has been created named "Karuthaponnu" with a group of Malaarayan tribes at Pattayakudi, Idukki. A nursery for traditional pepper varieties has started by the group and it serves as an additional source of income for the tribal community.