Uttarakhand News

Too little, too late? Uttarakhand Govt. takes steps to conserve Doon Basmati

Once the pride of Dehradun, the aromatic Doon basmati rice is on the verge of fading out completely as the area where it is grown is rapidly being lost to urbanization. In order to bring the Doon Basmati back from the brink, the Uttarakhand government plans to take several key steps to ensure its increase in cultivation. One of the rarest species of rice, Doon basmati is world renowned for its rich aroma and distinctive flavor. Doon basmati is not only a special variety of rice but also part of Dehradun’s cultural heritage.

Doon Basmati is a species of rice that is not found elsewhere in the world, however, it is fading fast. We are now preparing a plan to conserve and propagate this rare variety of organically produced rice besides replicating it elsewhere in the state. We are also creating a seed bank of this exclusive variety of rice with the help of farmers who grow it.

– Rakesh Kumar Shah, chairman, Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board

An expert group comprising of scientists and has been set up to gauge the current rice cultivation and find ways to rejuvenate it to its former glory. Once the group submits its report, the government will work towards its implementation. Plans were also underway to carry out Geographical Indications Registry of Doon Basmati rice, so it could be patented.

Doon basmati, which was once cultivated in the larger parts of Dehradun, is now confined at few places such as Haripur, Dhakrani, Dharmawala, Pratitpur and Ambawadi. Various factors such as shrinking agricultural land, lack of marketing and government subsidies led to its decline.

Inputs from Hindustan Times