Jammu & Kashmir is an agri-horticulture state (in India) where a large population is economically dependent to agriculture and horticulture, directly or indirectly for livelihood, food and nutritional security. Rice, the staple food of majority population, is cultivated in diverse agro-ecological situations extending from subtropical area (<1000 m amsl) of Jammu, through temperate valley to cold high altitudes regions (1650–2400 m amsl) of Kashmir, and therefore rice biodiversity is rich. Some of the landraces fall into indica type and thrive well in temperate regions of valley, while others fall into japonica type and are prevalent in hilly areas. Cold tolerance is a special feature in most of these peculiar landraces, which are different from rest of the country. However, with the advent of High Yielding Varieties the local biodiversity got neglected and remained confined to seed banks. With new emerging challenges like climate change, population explosion, limited land and water resources, demand for organic products, local landraces have assumed tremendous importance, either for direct exploitation or indirect use. In this chapter, we attempt to bring out information about these landraces in a comprehensive manner and discuss the issues pertaining to their conservation, utilization, cultivation and revival through approaches like participatory plant breeding, participatory varietal selection or plant biotechnology.
Part of the book: Rediscovery of Landraces as a Resource for the Future