India is home to an incredible diversity of both wild and cultivated crops. Diversity is one of the main characteristics of nature and also the very basis of ecological stability. Diverse ecosystems give rise to diverse life forms and diverse cultures and this forms the basis of sustainability. CIKS has focused at identifying important traditional seed varieties and orienting the agricultural community towards conserving and cultivating them.
When CIKS began the seed conservation initiative, we found not more than a handful of indigenous varieties. Today, many paddy and vegetable varieties are being conserved in farmers’ fields and experimental farms. We have documented in detail the agronomic properties of the conserved paddy varieties. We have also carried out preliminary studies on the nutritional properties of selected few varieties.
Traditionally a stupendous variety of paddy has been conserved and nurtured in various parts of the country which are suited to a variety of regions due to properties such as the following: