Collection and preservation of indigenous rice varieties was carried out to develop new high-yielding rice varieties by the researchers from the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) and the State Seed Testing Laboratory (SSTL) in Odisha along with other premier Institutes.
According to the CRRI Director, it was informed that they have planned to conserve indigenous rice varieties as they are often destroyed by rapid urbanization and industrialization. Their best genes can be later used to develop new varieties. These genes are preserved by maintaining a temperature of 4 degree centigrade and relative humidity for medium-term conservation for eight years. NBPGR has nearly 10, 2000 varieties of different crops, including rice.
Further, NBPGR claimed that their stock with the CRRI includes 300 wild varieties that belong to five rare species in the world and only 20 wild rice species have been identified in the world. An official from SSTL told that they genetically cleanse indigenous rice varieties so that their yield potential increases by 25% on an average.