An experiment to cultivate lost indigenous varieties of rice, millet, tubers, lentils and vegetables has begun in Wada taluka in Maharashtra's Palghar district, some 100 kilometres away from Mumbai, officials said on Monday.
The country once had around two lakh varieties of rice and the project was aimed at bringing back the lost strains as these are known to be resilient to climatic changes and can also provide new avenues of livelihood to cultivators, project head Sanatkumar Das said.
The project, in which some 770 farmers are cultivating rice, finger millet or ragi, little millet, sorghum etc, was started in 2008 by Sri Chaitanya Seva Trust in Galtare village in Wada, but has now spread to Jawhar, Mokhada and Vikramgad.
Das said the project aims to increase crop diversity, prolong the period of availability, and enhance farmers' incomes through production and sale of quality seeds of indigenous varieties.
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