Context:-The National Gene bank (NGB) at ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (ICAR- NBPGR), New Delhi is currently conserving more than 4.52 lakh accessions of various crops of which over 0.92 lakh accessions are of indigenous/local/traditional varieties and landraces.
What is the National Gene Bank?
Hosted by National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi.
The purpose is to conserve the Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations in the different forms such as seeds, genomic resources, pollen etc.
India’s seed vault is at Chang La (Ladakh) in the Himalayas.
How are we preserving?
ICAR-NBPGR has evaluated 635 designated rice land races from Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for major nutrients.
In order to improve the access to good seeds, 23 community seed banks were established at community level involving KVKs and Self Help Groups in remote and tribal areas of the country.
A total of 26 community seed banks conserving >4000 native landraces and farmers’ varieties of many food crops have been strengthened and established
ICAR-NBPGR and Biodiversity International are jointly executing UN Environment implemented project entitled “Mainstreaming Agricultural biodiversity conservation and utilization of the agriculture sector to ensure ecosystem services and reduce vulnerability” in seven states and Union Territory of Ladakh, to make communities more resilient to climate variation by growing more variety of crops .Under the project, More than 25,000 farmers across four agro-ecoregions covering 120,000 ha in India maintain and use 20 crops including rice of traditional local varieties, many of which were lost or got degenerated due to non-cultivation and poor maintenance.
United Nation- Global Environment Facility (UNEP-GEF) project, NBPGR, Biodiversity International and other institutes are also executing “Seeds for Needs” project using crowdsourcing (CS) and Participatory Varietal Selection trials (PVS) approaches to look for the “best set” of traditional varieties of wheat and rice farmers across 4 states (Bihar, Chhattisgarh, UP and MP).
Government has also been promoting traditional ways of crop cultivation through dedicated schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCDNER). In addition , Organic cultivation on either side of River Ganga, natural farming, large area certification and support for individual farmers have also been introduced under PKVY to increase organic coverage using organic/ bio inputs for production of organic products.
Details of crop-wise indigenous landraces/ traditional cultivars
|Crop group||Landraces/ Traditional Cultivars Local/ Varieties Conserved In the NGB (no. of accessions)|
|Fruits & Nuts||11|
|Medicinal & Aromatic plants||1172|
|Spices Condiments and Flavour||1274|