- 17 Dec 2022
- 5 min read
Why in News?
Recently, a Kerala-based organisation, Thanal launched the Ikki Jathre or the Festival of Rice in tribal parlance whereby 300 climate-resilient varieties of traditional rice were planted at Panavally, Wayanad.
- Thanal initiated the Rice Diversity Block (RDB) at Panavally under the Save Our Rice campaign in 2009, with a collection of 30 varieties of rice which now expanded to 300.
What is Ikki Jathre?
- The initiative aims to sensitise people to the significance of conserving traditional crops that have the ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions.
- The festival also sets the stage for knowledge sharing and co-creation of knowledge between tribal farmers and experts.
- For the RDB, most of the varieties were collected from Kerala, Karnataka, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
- Also, there are three traditional rice varieties from Vietnam and Thailand.
What is Save Our Rice Campaign?
- Save our rice campaign is a people’s movement to protect the diverse rice cultures, knowledge, and ensure food sovereignty.
- In India, it started in 2004, and empowers communities build sustainable food security and livelihood.
- Establishing community RDBs and seed banks, conserving and promoting indigenous varieties of paddy seeds.
- Creating awareness about value of rice diversity among urban consumers.
- Facilitating adoption of agro-ecological farming in rice ecosystems, and encouraging farmers, states and local governments to adopt indigenous seeds.
- Enabling active discussions in the media about indigenous seeds and agro ecological farming.
What are the Key Facts About Rice?
- Rice is a staple food for most of the population in India.
- It is a kharif crop which requires high temperature, (above 25°C) and high humidity with annual rainfall above 100 cm.
- In the areas of less rainfall, it is grown with the help of irrigation.
- In southern states and West Bengal, the climatic conditions allow the cultivation of two or three crops of rice in an agricultural year.
- In West Bengal farmers grow three crops of rice called ‘aus’, ‘aman’ and ‘boro’.
- About one-fourth of the total cropped area in India is under rice cultivation.
- Leading Producer States: West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab.
- High Yielding States: Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Kerala.
- India is the second-largest producer of rice after China.