Rich paddy palette in Wayanad
Wayanad is turning into a hub of rice diversity in the country. As many as 219 traditional varieties of paddy are being cultivated at the Rice Diversity Block (RDB) established at Panavelly under the Save Our Rice campaign involving farmers, environmental activists and voluntary organisations.
The first aerial photographs of the RDB have been released by Thanal, an environmental and advocacy research group based in Kerala.
The overhead view of the RDB reveals a colourful tapestry highlighting the rich variety of paddy. The diversity extends to the colour of the stalk, leaf, and flower. This explains the colour difference between the units in the block, explains R.Sridhar, Programme Director, Thanal.
It is estimated that India had 1.5 lakh varieties of rice landraces, with about 3,000 varieties unique to Kerala. But over time, many of these varieties disappeared, Mr. Sridhar says.
Another RDB for lowland varieties of paddy has been established at Kozhikode.