The return of the native rice variety

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R. Yuvasenthilkumar, a post-graduate in organic agriculture, near Modakurichi in Tamil Nadu, used to raise paddy varieties such as IR 20 and ADT 38 on his two-acre farm till 2012.

Having developed an interest in native varieties — specifically, ones that grow without the use of fertilizers — he went on a quest for almost a year looking for such paddy varieties. He tried cultivating varieties from the delta areas. However, the yield was not satisfactory. Then, he learnt from elders in his locality that before the 1970s, they used to grow varieties such as Tiruchengode Sambha and Ayan Sambha. However, the seeds for these varieties were not available locally.

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