Title : Cultivation of traditional rice landraces for human health and food security
In Asia, more than two billion people are getting sixty to seventy per cent of their energy requirement from rice and its derived products. Many rice varieties with medicinal value are cultivated and used in certain pockets in states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Western Ghats in India. These rice types, being the local land races is exploited by the rural folks to treat skin disease, blood pressure, fever, rheumatism, lactation and used also as a health tonic. Some of the rice landrace types are used in sidda and ayurvedic for exploiting the curative value and is used in many medicinal preparations. The trend towards health consciousness, has made to re look the traditional varieties recently experiencing an increasing trend among consumers and the profitable market is reversing and focussing towards traditional varieties, due to their incredible health benefits. India is rich in rice land race bio-diversity. The traditional rice landrace cultivation are confined to certain pockets depending on the suitability of local climate and soil type, under varied level and quantity of water requirement, also having high degree of resistance to pests and diseases, known to have specific nutritional and therapeutic properties. Cultivation of rice landraces have survived in many disasters in comparison to HYV and popular rice varieties. The traditional varieties are exploited in sidda medicine, due to medicinal properties and health benefits. Hence there is a need for us to revisit and reassess the value that has been attributed to traditional rice by exploiting cultivation of Rice landraces for human health and food security in future.
Key words: Rice landrace , cultivation, human health