Several local seeds go to seed

KATHMANDU: Many of the local seeds of maize, rice and wheat have been extirpated as the farmers have been excessively using the imported and hybrid seeds.

According to the experts, the local seeds of rice in the Tarai have been extinct by 75 per cent . Similarly, 90 per cent of the wheat seeds in the hilly and the mountain region have already lost their existence. Dr Madhusudan Upadhyaya of National Agriculture Research Council (NARC), Khumaltar, said “A good number of seeds of the grains and crops have already disappeared.” In Tarai, of 2000 species of rice , 758 have been extinct owing to the undue use of the foreign hybrids.

According to Upadhyaya the lost local seeds are of species like Lalsar, Gamri ,Basmati ,Kala Namak, Harifakir which were easy to cultivate.

Though the original seeds of wheat in Tarai fear no extinction, 75 per cent of the local maize seeds have already been extinct.

In Mountain region, the local seeds of maize and rice decreased by 50 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. Species of rice like Jetho, Budho ,Pokhareli , Jhinuwa, Gurdi , Ekle among others have been extinct.

Dr. Upadhyaya apprised that the original species of maize and rice in hilly region have been extinct by 20 per cent. Invention of the species like Hardinath 1, Chaite 6 and 4 , Mallika, Bindeshowri , Laxmi ,Chadani has been a threat to the original rice seeds. New spices of maize like Deuti , Sitala , Gaurav , Manakamana , Janaki have replaced the original ones. Similarly, the seeds like Gautam, Kanti , Pasanglamhu ,Rohini , Achut have been contributing to the extinction of the wheat seeds.

“Farmers should be encouraged to make the most from our own original seeds.” says Dr. Krishna Prasad Poudel, senior scientist at the NARC.