Vanishing rice diversity: agriculture podcast

The recently launched podcast series on The Hindu Businessline’s website has been expanding its genre and now includes some unique audio material on farming in India. This edition deals with the amazing rice diversity that the country is losing, because of a commercial emphasis on a few high-yield varieties.

Journalists MJ Prabu and  Srirengarajan Ayyaswamy bring to light some of the little-known facets of traditional rice species, including their perceived health-building properties, in this podcast. There is also a first person interview with an organic farmer from Southern Tamil Nadu. The use of organic fertiliser and pesticide, such as panchakavya, in rice cultivation is also explored in this delightful podcast.

It is also pertinent to point out that many wetlands with wild rice varieties in India are being filled for other uses, including some around Chennai. These resources are lost forever.

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