Connect with us

Featured

Indigenous rice out-performs commercial varieties in nutrition value and tolerance to drought, flood, extreme weather

Published

on

“The number one key to achieve food sustainability and security is diversity. Resilience is a direct outcome of ecological diversity and complexity” — Debal Deb

Kolkata, India — A growing body of scientists, researchers and farmers are demonstrating that Indigenous varieties of crops are not only more nutritious but more climate-resilient and equitable for farmers growing them, by leaps and bounds over commercial agribusiness seeds.
Debal Deb, founder of Basudha, a rice conservation farm in India, has published the micronutrient profiles of 550 Indigenous species of rice which contain between 20 ppm to 152 ppm of iron.

This contrasts with the genetically-modified iron fortified rice variety IR68144-2B-2-2-3 developed by IRRI, containing only 8.9 ppm of iron. Basudha farm conserves 1,485 varieties of rice on a modest 1.7 acre plot; these include varieties with climate-resilient properties including 18 salt-tolerant varieties; 16 drought-tolerant varieties; 20 flood-tolerant varieties, including 3 submergent-tolerant varieties and more.

Commercial hybrid seeds are dependent on patented inputs that result in farmer debt, and have been found to fall behind in the category of climate tolerance. Deb has also documented medicinal rice varieties, like West Bengal’s Garib-sal rice containing nanoparticles of silver. In 2022 alone, he has shared his saved indigenous seed varieties with 1,300 small farmers.

This knowledge becomes vital in light of the government of India’s recent mandate that all rice supplies in India must be fortified with iron (among other supplements) by 2024. It involves rice being milled into a powder form, fortified with supplements, and reshaped into rice grains. TheMandatory Food Fortification Program is now in effect across 4 states (Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand) and all rice supply in India must be fortified by 2024; local news reports children in Bolangir district of Orissa falling sick after consuming fortified rice. Also, 19 samples of fortified rice out of 22 collected from Punjab failed the quality tests performed by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) labs.

Crises like COVID and the war on Ukraine have revealed the gross cracks in the current global model of centralized food systems.

Cultivating and protecting indigenous seeds offers an equitable path towards health security and climate-resilient agriculture. But recent agricultural policy has been analyzed to benefit corporate initiatives and their profit instead of protecting and encouraging Indigenous crop varieties and agroecological practices. Devinder Sharma, an Indian food policy expert, highlights that global food systems must transition to agroecology in order to truly build resilience in the food systems. While the Green Revolution was lauded for averting food shortages during the 60s in India through the introduction of high-yielding crop varieties, it has steadily resulted in environmental degradation and increasing farmer debt through expensive inputs. Solutions like those at Basudha farm exist but are under-resourced and not widespread. As another example, Deccan Development Society, an organization representing over 5000 women farmers in the state of Telangana, have documented superior drought-tolerance of their Indigenous varieties of millets and rice. Many of the small-scale women farmers proudly explain that their system doens’t trap them in debt; subsequently, their society is free from common phenomena of agrarian suicides.

QUOTES

“Our emphasis and advice to every farmer in the world would be: to foster and nurture diversity on all levels. On a species level, on crop genetic level, and on ecosystem level.” — Debal Deb

 

“Experts are spending billions of dollars to fine-tune genetic engineering, while these resilient varieties already exist… In the name of smarter agriculture we are losing these climate-smart varieties, and the farmers are trained to become puppets of agro-industry.” — Debal Deb

“Our soil is something almost equivalent to Gold. The beauty of this soil is that it can hold and store water. For instance there has been no rains for almost four months now but it acts as sufficient support to the Indigenous crop (Sorghum). This type of crop is called Satyam Panta, it grows because of the air and nothing else. Rain has never been a necessity for this crop. There are no external input pressures, and we have not witnessed any farmers suicides in our society.” — Chandramma, farmer with Deccan Development Society, Telangana, India

RESOURCES

For resources on nutrition value and climate-resilience of Indigenous crops:

For more on Basudha Farm and Debal Deb:

For more on Deccan Development Society:

 

Continue Reading

The Daily Do It

 

 

The News without the Noise

The Great Transition3 days ago

Understanding the Great Transition

The Great Transition3 days ago

Information, Communications, Media

The Great Transition3 days ago

Consumption, Materials and Resources

The Great Transition3 days ago

Food and Agriculture

The Great Transition3 days ago

Transforming Health

The Great Transition3 days ago

Education for a New World

Featured3 days ago

The Transformation of Energy and Transportation Systems

The Great Transition1 week ago

Going forward: A realistic action plan

Rethink X4 weeks ago

Understanding where we’re at and how to get to where we are going

Video: Rethink4 weeks ago

0:00 / 20:59 Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning

Policy4 weeks ago

NO TO NUKES: Non-proliferation treaty conference ends in failure, ban treaty shows the way forward

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Innovation without Borders

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Information without Borders

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Affordable and Renewable Clean Energy

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Resources and Materials

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Improved Food Systems

Build for Change1 month ago

Why Endless Consumption of Our Finite Planet Will Take Us to Our Cliff of Doom and How We Can Prevent It

Featured1 month ago

Indigenous rice out-performs commercial varieties in nutrition value and tolerance to drought, flood, extreme weather

FOOD + AG.1 month ago

Reviving Jordan’s community, resilience and food sovereignty through urban wheat cultivation

FOOD + AG.1 month ago

An organic farming revolution in Thailand

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Heart Attacks Are Not Worth Dying For

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Rethink: Humanity’s Next Operating System

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Find out how your community could take on big business to serve the health of all.

Food and Land1 month ago

Understanding the Roots of the Food Crises and Preventing Future Crises: Resilience and a Deep Dive

Editorials2 months ago

Another Conference is not going to save us:

A web of Life for ALL Life2 months ago

Truths or Consequences

Build for Change2 months ago

The launch of “Rights of the Atlantic Ocean” campaign in Newfoundland

Build for Change2 months ago

What’s really going on in the Brazilian Rainforests?

Editorials2 months ago

To Save the Planet, Forget About the Globe (And Act Locally)

Weekly Exchanges2 months ago

A global information commons

Build for Change2 months ago

We are One

Build for Change2 months ago

The Power of us

Build for Change2 months ago

When Stars Collide

Build for Change2 months ago

Heal the World

People Planet Purpose2 months ago

A NEW STORY FOR A NEW WORLD

Rethink X4 weeks ago

Understanding where we’re at and how to get to where we are going

Video: Rethink4 weeks ago

0:00 / 20:59 Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning

Rethink X4 months ago

Out of Chaos Comes Creation: Understanding Transformation of Civilizations

Rethink X4 months ago

Understanding the Repeating Patterns of History: Growth / Collapse / Transformation

Mobilized News Network7 months ago

Clarity Above all Else

Paradigm Change7 months ago

Nuremberg Prosecutor at 102: Make Law, Not War.

INTERVIEWS8 months ago

GAIA TALKS: The Earth Speaks: Mohamed Ismail from Egyptians Abroad For Democracy Worldwide

Paradigm Change8 months ago

An Empowered World: People, we are Ready!

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Conscious capitalism and Raising the Bar of Human Possibility

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Open Collaboration on an Epic Scale: The Future is Cooperatively Decentralized

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Transforming Energy and Transportation

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Transforming agriculture and food systems for optimal planetary and personal health

Arts9 months ago

How The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies into Super Effective Propaganda

A web of Life for ALL Life10 months ago

We are One

Mobilized TV10 months ago

How we can eradicate heart Disease

Mobilized TV10 months ago

Howard Bloom: Imagination Takes You Everywhere

Featured10 months ago

From Punk to Planet: Slam Dunk the Junk with Dave Street

Mobilized TV11 months ago

A Moral Responsibility: Jean Su, Ctr. for Biological Diversity

Mobilized TV11 months ago

On Free Speech TV: Rethinking Humanity with James Arbib of RethinkX

Mobilized TV11 months ago

Sustainable Architecture, Design and Building for a Sustainable Planet

Mobilized TV11 months ago

A better understanding of lawn care for Climate Care featuring Dr. Rob Moir of the Ocean River Institute

Mobilized TV11 months ago

Stories from the Reservation: Davidica Little Spotted Horse

Translate »