Vol.8 No.2 (2013)

Development of organic indica rice cultivar (Oryza sativa L.) for the wetlands of Kerala, India through new concepts and strategies of crop improvement

Vanaja, T.*, Mammootty, K.P. & Govindan, M.

Developing crop varieties that are less dependent on the heavy application of synthetic fertilizers is essential for the sustainability of agriculture. Here we report the development of a new rice cultivar, the first of its kind possessing the general criteria for an organic rice variety, at the same time suitable for chemical agriculture as well, and with favourable cooking and nutritive qualities. The method adopted for cultivar development was a combined strategy of pedigree breeding, organic plant breeding, and farmer participatory breeding approaches. Considering its high grain and straw yield potential even under organic management and unfavorable soil conditions, and its other favorable quality and organic varietal traits, farmers have started large scale cultivation of this cultivar even before its commercial release. The cultivar, namely culture MK 157, is at the pipe end of variety release in the Kerala state of India.

Key words: Organic farming, organic plant breeding, organic rice, sustainable agriculture, participatory plant breeding.


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Author Contact

College of Agriculture, Padannakkad, Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India.



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