Let us tell you that due to rapid urbanization, Doon Basmati rice is becoming extinct. According to reports, its cultivation has decreased significantly in the last few years. Doon Basmati, a rice variety known for its rich aroma and distinct taste is disappearing rapidly. According to the recent report of Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board, the area under cultivation of Doon Basmati rice has decreased by 62% percent in the last five years.
According to the report, Doon Basmati rice was being produced in an area of 410 hectares in 2018, whereas in 2022 this figure has reduced to just 157 hectares. Not only this, due to the shrinking area of farming, farmers have also started withdrawing their hands. In 2018, 680 farmers were producing Doon Basmati rice. In five years, 163 farmers have stopped cultivating Basmati rice.
Due to its specific agro-climatic conditions, this rice has endemic importance for the Doon Valley. Furthermore, this species of rice grows only in running water. This is a “very delicate” variety of rice. It is a completely organically produced grain, its aroma and taste is lost if chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used.
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Doon Basmati, apart from being a rare variety of rice, is an important part of the rich heritage of Dehradun. Doon Basmati was developed by rice growers in the Doon Valley. Doon Basmati rice was once grown over a large area, which has now developed into a vast urban area. Now the cultivation of Doon Basmati rice is limited to only a few areas that can be counted on fingers.
Specific varieties of rice are becoming extinct rapidly due to many reasons such as decreasing agricultural land due to rapid urbanization. Reasons like lack of marketing facilities and lack of subsidy have brought Doon Basmati rice to the verge of extinction. Various other varieties of Basmati rice are being sold in the name of Doon Basmati. There is a need for the government to take important steps for the conservation and promotion of Doon Basmati.