Traditional Rice Varieties of Northeast India With Special Reference to Assam, Northeast India

Independent Scholar, India

India is home to a large number of indigenous rice varieties. This is particularly true of the northeast, where indigenous rice types are still cultivated. Due to the wide variety and favourable conditions for cultivation, this region is considered by many geographers and botanists as an ideal place for early plant domestication and food production. Even international scholars who gathered at the Indo-Pacific Prehistoric Association Congress held in Pune in 1978 adopted a resolution on the importance of the prehistory of Northeast India and defined the region as a physical and cultural bridge between the bodies of India and Southeast Asia, and a potential area for the domestication of many important economic plants. However, there has still been very little research undertaken in the region, and none has focussed on the potential indigenous origins of paddy rice cultivation. In the present study, some of the basic features of paddy cultivation in Assam and the Northeast are highlighted. Indigenous rice varieties grown in different parts of the region is discussed, and the potential origin of paddy cultivation in this part of India is discussed.