Wheat Diversity Revival

8:54 am in News by Kavitha

SAMPARK in Madhya Pradesh is helping in the conservation of 17 Wheat varieties in its campus (10 varieties) at Petalawad & with a farmer called Ramlal Patidar of Davri village in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. Ramlal Patidar is conserving 12 varieties.

The varieties are–Amrit Godi, Banjhia, Bansi, Bhadra, Bundeli Kaithi, Gujraji, Java Godi, Kalibal, Khaira, Khapli, Bundeli Laliya, Paigambari (“Sugar free”), Pisu, Saipuri, Sharbati, Sujata & Surya….collected from different parts of Madhya Pradesh (particularly from Babulal
Dahiya-Satna, MP), Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab & Maharashtra (Jaikumar Patil, Miraj).  Out of these 17, Bansi, Kalibal, Paigambari, Pisu and Sujata are being grown in large fields. 2 varieties of Naked Barley (huskless barley) are also being tried out (originally obtained from Punjab and grown at Jharkhand).

The varieties include some unique cultivars like Khapli which is Emmer Wheat (Triticum dicoccum) one of the earliest crops to be domesticated
in the Fertile Crescent…it is a husked wheat with 2 seeds inside 1 husk. The variety is known for its drought & pest-diseases resilience
and needs less irrigation. It is low in gluten and fibre rich….

There is also the famous Sharbati wheat (Triticum aestivum) considered the best for making chapatis….Pisu – bold grained, soft white wheat…..one of the parents of the Sharbati selections developed in 1960s.

The collection also includes Bansi – a high grade amber Duram Wheat (Triticum durum) known for its plumpness, appearance, consistency, and
hardness.

Also Paigambari-popularly known as Sugar Free which is Triticum spherococcum- a round shaped dwarf wheat (hexaploid)…..which can be
rightly called the first Indian Wheat as its origins can be traced to the Indus Valley Civilization and was one of the staple food…unlike
what is popularly believed–the Indian subcontinent had developed dwarf wheat almost 4000 years ago….It is greatly appreciative that such an unique variety was being cultivated by Kamaljeet Singh – a lawyer turned organic farmer of Rattewal village (Firozpur dist, Punjab), the seeds of which were subsequently grown by Bameswar Paharia in Wheat Diversity Block at Jharkhand (2015-16) and then by Bhairab Saini in Bankura dist-West Bengal (2016-17) and now also by Ramlal Patidar in Jhabua- Madhya Pradesh & Kamlesh Mallad in Belgavi Dist, Karanataka (2016-17).

Apart from Sampark, - Wheat Diversity blocks are being maintained by Kamlesh Mallad in village Betasur in Belgavi dist-Karnataka with 10
varieties and Bhairab Saini of village Panchal of Bankura Dist- West Bengal & Bameswar Paharia of village Bara Dangapara in Godda dist- Jharkhand with 42 varieties along with 6 varieties of Barley, 4 varieties of Oat and 1 variety of Rye.

For more information, contact Soumik Banerjee at soumix2009@gmail.com.