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  • 1. A D O W N T O E A R T H S U P P L E M E N T JANUARY 15, 2004 gobartimes NO. 38 A P O N D E R I N G PA N D I T J I panditji@cseindia.org Dear Gobar Times Readers, Next time you get a wonderful whiff of freshly cooked Basmati rice, remember this: In 1997, the Texas based RiceTec Inc. obtained Patent No. 5663484 from the US Patent Office on Basmati rice lines and grains. So? India possesses tremendous diversity in rice varieties reflecting the culmination of centuries of informal breeding and evolution by the farmers of this country. Tilll recently, farmers grew over 30,000 varieties of rice. Will small farmers in Asia be having to pay royalties to a multinational company each time they grow and eat rice? The UN has declared the year 2004 as the International Year of Rice and this month in January the World Social Forum comes to India. People from around the world are gathering at Mumbai to question and change the way the world grows its food, does business, science and trade that harms people and the environment. We hope you also believe that ‘Another world is possible’! Now let me get back to my steaming dal chawal... – Pandit Gobar Ganesh
  • 2. COVER STORY Did you know that... q 98 per cent of the world’s rice is grown in Asia. q 91 per cent of the world’s rice is eaten in Asia. q Rice is the staple food of three of the world's four most populous nations: China, India and Indonesia. That’s 2.5 billion people! q More than 1 billion people depend on rice for their livelihood. Most of these farmers are in Asia. q In Asia, more than 2 billion people obtain 60-70% of their caloric intake from rice and its products. q The Himalayas are the cradle for modern rice. Rice cultivation spread from the Indian subcontinent. Riceasia The story of a grain: from land to mouth And yet... q The complete rice genome map is with Myriad Genetics, an American company and Syngenta of Switzerland q The patent for Golden rice, enriched with beta-carotene, could help reduce Vitamin A defi- ciency, a leading cause of blindness in Asian children, is with the West q The patent for India’s Basmati is with RiceTec, an American company q US is one of the biggest exporters of rice q Asian rice is sold at very low rates in the international market, while Western rice is priced much higher 82 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 3. COVER STORY The South - North Rice Divide “Uhhh... ummmm... “Rice = Genes? Patents? What’s the Decoding the genetic code = need? But haven’t our Rice Genome = people been using these So many hybrids = varieties for So many patents = centuries? Wait... Asian market monopoly = Drat! we just lost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!” another patent Desi Nopatentlal Ricetec Tecchie I hear rice originated in "Basmati. Kasmati. Texmati. Himalayas. It went from You name it. We stock it. We India to rest of world. deliver it. We export it. We have been growing Anyone else who does so Basmati for centuries. But should be locked up for I hear that in future, illegal trade. Up with we may have to pay the World Trade big dollars to grow Organisation!" and export our own Real Deal Basmatiman rice. Can this be? Farji Basmatiwallah "Dal-chawal, biryani, dosa, idli, kheer... "Rice? Ya, you get it fried in those fancy yum! Rice is our present. Rice is our Chinese restaurants. By the way, Economy History. It is our Sociology, Tradition and is greater than History, Lifeline. In India, no ritual is complete Sociology and Tradition without using akshata (rice coloured with put together. We haldi)" control world trade. We’ll grab the rice market too! Bharati Riceplate Yankee Wheatman “Rice cultivation is long, “Growing rice is cool. Plough laborious. Seed is the field with a tractor. Flood sown somewhere, it. Drop soaked rice seeds transplanted from a plane. It takes us one elsewhere. I can day in man-hours to grow a do 1 acre in 3 tonne of paddy. (It takes days. Ploughing, Asia 100 days to do the manuring, flooding, same!) weeding, harvesting, is all done by hand.” Chawal Paaniwallah McRice farmer Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 83
  • 4. FARMING Waterworld It takes 5000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of rice! In an age where rapidly growing populations are competing for limited supplies of water, it remains to be seen how long Asia can sustain growth in rice production in the 21st century with that kind of ratio. The Many Labours of Rice grains are separated from the stalk) and milled (that is, More than 1 billion people in the world make the husk is removed). their living from rice. That's because rice farming isn't as simple as sowing the seed and growing it Water, Water Everywhere normally. Rice is extremely labour-intensive, but it gives more First, rice seed is sown onto a carefully prepared employment than other crops, a boon to the starter bed. Then the rice field is manured, flooded over-populated regions of Asia. However, the major and ploughed. When the seedlings gain a certain cause of concern is that rice is a water-guzzler. With height, they are transplanted from the bed to field by the amount of water needed for one acre of rice, you hand. A single experienced farmer will take 3 days to could irrigate 3 acres of wheat and 5 acres of transplant one acre, though this is always done by vegetables. More than 80 per cent of rice lands in the many people working together. world are rain fed and grow only one crop a year. So, Then the field is hand-weeded and flooded. The if the rains fail, even that crop is gone. field has to remain flooded for 3-6 months. Harvesting And how much water can be diverted for rice is done by hand. Then the rice has to be threshed (the irrigation at a time when fresh water is running short More than 1 billion people make their livelihood from rice 84 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 5. ECOLOGY for human consumption? Already around Beijing, farmers are not allowed to grow rice in flooded fields The second World Social Forum in Porto due to a shortage of water. If that is a taste of things Alegre in Brazil in 2002 opened under the to come, then it's bad news for India. theme of "Another world is possible". Delegates exchanged views on Doing More With Less alternatives and solutions with each other. In the future, rice production must grow to keep pace A group from Brazil adopted organic rice with the growing population with better and more growing techniques from China. Using efficient use of water, land and labour. At the same this method, in the time, losses incurred during production, transporta- same pond, fish and tion and processing have to be reduced. rice can be symbiotic, One way to reduce the amount of water required eliminating the for cultivation is by the development of varieties called need for fertilizers "aerobic rice", that are better suited for dry soils. and additional Scientists have been trying to develop, genetically, rice ponds. that would yield several times the current types "almost anytime and anywhere in the torrid zone". The concurrent use of rice-field water both for Without flooded fields?! irrigation and aquaculture is another good idea. Another basic, but unpopular measure would be to Without pesticides?! make farmers pay for all the water they use in the Masanobu Fukuoka is the rice-fields. That would encourage water conservation. pioneer of "natural farming", Schemes like this are already underway in China. which could reverse the degener- India exported 1,532,600 tonnes of rice in 2000. If ative momentum of modern agri- that was equated with exporting 7663 billion litres of culture. It requires no machines water, one would get a fair idea of the magnitude of and no chemicals. He grows the problem. high-yielding crops of rice simply by scattering seed onto an unplowed field! From his book The One-Straw Revolution: "The basic idea came to him one day as he hap- pened to pass an old field which had been left With the unused and unplowed for many years. There he saw healthy rice seedlings sprouting water needed through a tangle of grasses and weeds. From for one acre then on, he stopped flooding his field in order to grow rice. He stopped sowing rice seed in of rice, you spring and, instead, put the seed out in the could autumn, sowing it directly onto the surface of the field when it would naturally have fallen to irrigate 5 the ground. Instead of plowing the soil to get rid of weeds, he learned to control them by a acres of more or less permanent ground cover of white vegetables. clover and a mulch of rice and barley straw. WWW.ASIATOURS.NET Once he has seen to it that conditions have been tilted in favour of crops, Mr Fukuoka interferes as little as possible with in his fields.” Rice fields covered 1.5 million square kms of land in 2002 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 85
  • 6. RICE: The starchy seeds or grain of an annual marsh grass,cultivated in warm climates and used for food. 'Rice' comes from the Tamil word arisi. Arab traders took arisi with them Old Japanese saying "He who and called it al-ruz. This became arroz in Spanish and oriza in Greek. In French it became riz, Italian riso, German reis and finally in English rice. The biological name for rice, oryza, also comes from arisi. wastes rice will either 130 million years ago... 3500 years ago: In Africa, a domestic strain was developed from wild rice. 1st to 11th Centuries AD: Arab traders took rice from India to Iran and then Egypt. From there it went to 1609: America received its first shipment. Early 18th Century: Czar Peter I first imported rice become blind, go to hell Wild rice started growing on this planet. 3000 years ago: Rice was introduced to Japan from Spain and Sicily. The Moors took it to Portugal. into the country from Iran. or be ground to powder!" 15000 years ago: The “indica” variety of wild rice eastern China. 639 AD: Rice was first cultivated in the Nile Valley. grew on the northern and southern slopes of the 543 BC: Indica entered Sri Lanka and then made its 1468: From Italy, rice reached Bulgaria, And today... Thus spake Confucious "If you Himalayas. It spread to northern and eastern way to Malaya and Java. Centuries after, Asian Yugoslavia and Romania. It is grown in all continents except Antarctica. India, Southeast Asia and to southern China. rice also reached Africa via Java. 1522: Mexico received its first shipment. Source: The Story of Rice by R D Sharma, NBT have old rice to eat, water to drink and a pillow Food for millions to rest your arm, all is joy." ORYZA SATIVA: When one grain was enough Sage Durvasa and hundreds of his disciples visited the Pandavas when they were in exile in the forest. Durvasa told Draupadi that they were all hungry. Draupadi was THE KING OF CEREALS at her wits end for there was nothing in her kitchen. Fearful of Durvasa's temper and his habit of q Rice is tolerant to desert, throwing curses, she requested the sage and his disciples to take bath in a nearby river. hot, humid, flooded, dry and Then Draupadi prayed to Krishna for help. Krishna came and cool conditions. said he was hungry too! Not know- ing what to do, Draupadi brought the empty food vessel. And there q It is the only cereal which attached to the back of the vessel was a grain of rice! Krishna put it in can grow in deep water. his mouth and satisfied his hunger. The Lord of the Universe had eaten enough; and with this was satisfied q It can grow in saline, the appetite of the whole world! At the riverbank, Durvasa and alkaline and acidic soils. his disciples suddenly felt their stomach full. They left without ever bothering Draupadi any more. q In Nepal it grows 2750 When a little rice was worth the world metres above sea level and Krishna was so pleased with his childhood friend Sudama's gift of two handfuls of roasted rice that in in some places in Kerala, return he gave him the Earth and the heavens. 3 metres below sea level ! If his queen Rukmini had not stopped him, he would have given Sudama the Cosmos as well. The Mahabharat 86 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 87
  • 7. BIOTECHNOLOGY The Patent and the Poor So the rice genome doesn't go to Asia. Big deal. The developed world is patenting most of the developing world's biodiversity anyway. So what's so different this time around? Well, the difference is that 80 per cent of the world's rice is grown by small-scale farmers in low-income and developing countries. And they can't afford to pay for new expensive technology. Syngenta had declared that it wouldn’t be patenting the rice gene, but would patent "any useful pro- cesses that may be related to the Who gene". But it's not as simple as it sounds. Controlling the Rice Gene controls The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related the rice Aspects of Inte- llectual Property Rights (TRIPS) gives multina- tionals the right genie? to claim absolute ownership over rice through patents. Today, there are more than 600 biotech patents on rice genes, In January 2001, the entire genome of rice plants and breeding methods all over the world. Western corpo- was mapped, the first major cereal crop to rations and research labs hold 90 per cent of these patents. So in effect, they can have its genetic code unraveled. This feat control and force Asian farmers to pay for the use of genetic resources and knowledge which originated was accomplished by Myriad Genetics of from them. The famous Basmati case is one such example the US and Syngenta of Switzerland. These (See box Basmati Blues). Another example is the promise of "Golden rice". two companies now hold the key to the This rice is genetically engineered to produce high levels of beta-carotene, which helps reduce Vitamin A future of rice harvests in Asia. deficiency, a leading cause of blindness among poor Asian children. Chinese scientists bred the world’s first hybrid rice in 1974 88 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 8. UNFAIR TRADE But even the patent for that is with the West. At WSF 2003, Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser gave a moving testimonial on Power to the Farmers patents. But who is he? In 1998, Schmeiser Most genebanks are held by corporations which the was sued by Monsanto for patent rights common farmer has no access to. Community violations, allegedly for using Monsanto's genebanks, on the other hand, secure people's control genetically modified rapeseed without over genetic resources. Seeds can be produced locally, legally purchasing it. Schmeiser claims the protecting the farmers' autonomy. rapeseed came to his farm as a result of One such bank is the Konkan rice project in "contamination" — wind blown seeds Maharashtra. It started when farmers noticed from other farms taking root on his soil. stagnation in rice yields, despite putting Monsanto says how the more fertilisers, pesticides and seeds got there herbicides. They found that doesn't matter, it's rice cultivation based on their property and minimal genetic diversity they asked for $400,000 led pest proliferation, in damages for patent which in turn called infringement! for more pesticides. So some 250 seeds of indigenous vari- Basmati Blues eties in the In 1997, RiceTec, an American multinational, was region were granted the right to call a variety of aromatic rice collected, cata- 'Basmati'. Since Basmati has been grown for logued and centuries in the foothills of the Himalayas, this stored. The pro- flagrant act of biopiracy was met surprise and angry protests in India and Pakistan. But at stake is the multi-crore rupee export market to West. India There are more than 600 alone exported 8.48 lakh tonnes of basmati rice in 2000-01. (RiceTec filed for the patent in 1994, but biotech patents on rice genes, the government of India did not take any action for the 3 years that the patent was pending) plants and breeding methods RiceTec also chose to name a brand 'Jasmati', even though it has no genetic relation to Thai ject, which evolved under the guidance of Jasmine rice or Indian Basmati. Thailand claims that Dr RH Richharia, breeds hybrids to improve produc- the usage of the term will purposely mislead tivity. Several successful crosses have been performed. consumers into believing Cloning technology is practiced for large-scale multi- that its rice is a cross plication of rice seeds. And all this is easily accessible between the two varieties. to local farmers. More than five million It is in community genebanks that the Asian farmers in Thailand depend farmers have the best chances for controlling future on Jasmine rice for a living. rice yields. Their livelihood is in danger That’s the best chance that they can take on the if RiceTec eats into the multinationals and protect their own interests. Jasmine rice market. Community genebanks could protect the farmers’ autonomy Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 89
  • 9. RICE TRADE “The struggle of the 'East' versus the 'West' in Asia is in part a race for production, and rice is the symbol and substance of it.” – Foreign Affairs, 1953 RicEconomics Here's some food for thought. The US has just 0.79 per cent of the world's rice land under cultivation and with that it controls 12.7 per cent of the rice exports. With more and more patents going to American multinationals, that figure could rise dramatically in the next couple of decades. US Foreign Policy and Rice Hybrids and genetically modified rice crops have transformed the entire rice industry of the developing world in the second half of the twentieth century. While the debate rages on whether that has contributed to the overall good of the region, it is interesting to study the linkage between US post-war foreign policy and rice. The book Rice Science and Development Politics explains this in detail. When America looked to the developing world after the Second World War, it was concerned with two issues. The first was econo- mics. It sought new frontier mar- kets and came to the conclusion that it wouldn't get good trading partners unless the issue of food security was sorted out. The second was ideology. The US was scared that "unstable" nations would lean towards communism. So in the fifties, rice production was put at the centre of an American strategy to address food insecurity and political In Myanmar, people eat half a kilogram of rice a DAY 90 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 10. MARKETS unrest. The Rockefeller and Ford foundations patron- “Henry Saragih, an Indonesian delegate ised the International Rice Research Institute, which in to the World Social Forum in 2001, cited turn led to the Green Revolution and dramatic rise in the example of low rice prices (the result the production of rice (and wheat). of imports of the grain from the United States), which are devastating the rice Chemicals and Credit farmers in his country. However, traditional practices that had been The same dynamic affects European practiced for centuries were thrown out unceremoni- farmers, who face bankruptcy from a sys- ously. In came rice varieties that required high inputs tem that favours only the big farms, said of pesticides and fertilizers, for which farmers had to Egidio Brunetto, a leader of rely on credit. It has also replaced diversity with Brazil’s Movimento uniformity and transformed farmers into mere dos Sem Terra’ farm workers. (landless movement) All the "miracle" rice varieties produce little in the underscoring their absence of liberal doses of chemical fertilisers and common struggle costly pesticides. And today they dominate the market. worldwide.” Extensive use of pesticides has also led to contami- nation of agricultural land and groundwater all across in developing countries. High Price. Low Price Capturing The Seed Market America and India handle their rice markets Interestingly, the commercial rice seed market is the very differently. While the US pampers its only rice market where Asia doesn't dominate, farmers and pushes the rice price as up as it accounting for less than a quarter of the $32 billion can to maximise its profits, India penalises its market. But there are other issues involved. marketeers if they don’t keep the rice price Multinational seed corporations all run rice down so that the poor can afford it. programmes in a bid to dominate and expand the That illustrates the rich-poor country divide seed market. Hybrids power seed markets. Most of in rice. Wealthier countries use a combination these do not reproduce and so force farmers to of domestic market interventions and border purchase new seeds every season. Rice, however, is a protection or export subsidies depending on self-pollinating crop, making hybrid rice seed produc- whether they are importers or exporters. tion costly and difficult, and nearly all rice in Asia is still In contrast, poor developing countries in grown with farmer-saved seed. The seed industry Asia tax rice producers, with domestic prices believes that the combination of genetic engineering often less than three-fourths of world prices. and patents can overcome this hurdle. Domestic controls are aplenty and diverse. Through patents and contractual agreements, seed Most of these countries have some form of companies will seek to prohibit farmers from sharing price support system. These support prices are or saving seed, control what pesticides are used and almost always below the international prices. even assert ownership rights over the harvest. (Rice Trade Liberalisation and Poverty, Gulati and Narayanan, EPW) Formation Boom in RED US fear of commu- nism and Foreign policy changes Concern on food security of Interna- tional Rice Green Revolution Pesticide, Herbicide, RICE instability issues Research Institute Fertiliser industry The average European eats about 3 kgs of rice a YEAR Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 91
  • 11. EYE-OPENER Hot hot rice! CARBON DIOXIDE (CO 2 ) WATER VAPOUR (H 2 O) HYDROXYL RADICAL (OH) + METHANE (CH 4 ) Grow rice and contribute to global warming! Strange but true. Paddy fields emit methane, a greenhouse gas. Developed countries twisted this fact to show that developing countries’ emissions matched their’s, but they didn’t get away with it. Green gas Rice fields emit methane, which reacts in the atmosphere to become carbon dioxide and water vapour. All three are greenhouse gases (GHGs). But it’s not as simple as that. Methane emissions come from a lot of sources. Finding the exact amount from rice fields is very tricky. In 1990, the Panel on Climate Change estimated THEY ALL EMIT METHANE methane production from paddy fields as 110 million tones (mt), this was revised to 60 Paddy cultivation mt in 1992 and 37 mt in 1994. But even that was contested by India. Domesticated Who's the real culprit? The World Resources Institute in 1990 tried to show livestock that the annual GHG emissions of developing countries were the same as the West! The Biomass burning Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) argued that it was important to differentiate between “survival emissions” like rice cultivation and cattle rearing, which employs Coal mining poor farmers and feeds millions and “luxury emissions” like driving cars. Natural gas and Sinking Logic: The WRI also failed to account for the Earth’s ecological sinks — oil production its vegetation and oceans — properly. The WRI apportioned the sinks on the basis of a Coal Mining country’s share in global emissions. So the biggest polluters got the biggest share of the sinks! CSE allocated sinks according to population as every human being has an equal right to sinks in the world. The differences were startling. See-saw figures: The WRI formula put the net emissions at 10.3% for India and China and also 10.3% for Brazil. The CSE figure for India and China crashed to 0.6% and zoomed to 18.2% for Brazil! America’s share went up from 17% to 27.4%. 92 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 12. NUTRITION Rice How it's made: To make parboiled rice, rice is first soaked in water after which the excess water is drained off. It is then steamed, dried and pounded to remove the husk. Thanks to this, the outer layer turns hard and does not break during milling. Its appearance & becomes yellowish and glossy. What it does: In technical terms, rough rice, becomes gela- tinized by hydrothermal treatment, improving the cooking qualities shine and producing a shift of the vitamin's and nutritive substances towards the inside, so that it retains a higher nutritional value. A little bit of history: In 1882, when a Japanese ship returned after a nine-month voyage, 25 of its 276-member crew were dead. The rest were listless. They had eaten boiled rice three times a day but This Indian innovation saved this was polished ice from a mill and had its nutritive outer layer sailors from beri-beri removed. The same symptoms were also noticed in Malaysian and Javanese sailors. The disease was called “beri-beri”, which means "Parboiled rice", which is more “extreme weakness” in Sinhalese. On being fed mill rice even hens fell ill, but recovered when given parboiled rice! In polishing and making nutritious than any other form rice glossy, vitamins were lost. Not so in parboiled rice. of rice and retains a better shape after cooking, is India's Vitamins discovered: The “lost vitamin” was Vitamin B. Before this discovery, nobody knew gift to the world. Today, a fifth about vitamins. Christiaan Eijkman was the first to research this and got the Nobel of the world's rice is parboiled. Prize in 1929. However, the Swiss And today: Thanks to the multinational Nestles has got Nestles patent, once the World the European patent for Trade Organisation comes fully into effect, indigenous parboiled rice, even though the parboiled rice could become a pirated product in export practice has been going on in markets, and one day in India for centuries. India too! Dal + chawal = Complete khana Rice is a rich source of dietary energy and a lot of vitamins. Unmilled rice is high on dietary fibre. But rice alone cannot supply all of the nutri- ents necessary for adequate nutrition. Fish is a useful addition to the diet as it provides large amounts of essential amino acids (proteins) and micronutrients. For vegetarians, pulses, such as beans, groundnuts and lentils, are also nutritional complements to the rice-based diet and help to complete the amino acid profile. Many traditional dishes throughout the world combine these ingredients to achieve better nutritional balance. So if you eat either dal aur chawal or rice and fish curry, you are eating a wholesome meal. Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 93
  • 13. GT PROJECT Gobar Times Project Be a GT Rice Reporter! Investigate and discover RICE INDIA India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of crop diversity. Over hundreds of years of farming in different ecological settings, the farm- ers of India have bred and grown thousands of varieties of rice. So many varieties and so many ways to grow them! This genetic wealth is fast eroding. People living in cities today are ignorant of this fact and are not concerned. After reading this issue of GT, we hope you feel strongly about this and wish to change the state of affairs. To begin with atleast we can collect and document this ecological history of our country. Every region in India has a different story to tell. Why don’t you investigate the rice scene in your locality? Find out the types of rice available in your local area, how farmers grow them and ask them how things have changed. Interview your local grocer, visit your towns wholesale market, ask your grandparents of the kinds of rice they ate... What's the colour, size of grain and quality? Cheap? Expensive? Long, medium or round? No market for it? Why not? Broken grains or not? What's the local name? What does the name tell us? Why are farmers no longer growing traditional varieties? Taste? Smell? Nutitional value? What special ecological characteristics Any health benifits? does this variety have? Grows under drought conditions? Who grows these local Under water? In saline water? varieties? Who grows these local varieties? What's the religious and cultural Why grow them at all? significance? Any anecdotes? We wish this to be a collaborative and voluntary effort between GT readers across the county and us. Anyone can participate - an individual, a family, a class or school. Feel free to contact us for any clarifications or help you may want. We will compile all your reports and publish the results in a forthcoming issue. All participants will get a surprise gift. Last date for submission: 15 March 2004 Send your 'Rice India' project reports to: Gobar Times, Centre for Science and Environment, 41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi 110062. Fax: (011) 2995 5879 Email: panditji@cseindia.org 94 Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement
  • 14. India is home to one of the greatest diversities of both wild and cultivated crops It is claimed that around 4,00,000 varieties of rice existed in India during the vedic period Dr Richharia, a well know rice scientist, has collected and identified 20,000 varieties of rice in the Chhattisgarh area of Madhya Pradesh alone 75% of Indian rice production comes from 10 rice varieties – out of 30,000 that existed a few decades ago Most indigenous varieties are resistant to pests, require less farm inputs like fertilizers and pesticides and they yield straw that is valuable to the farmer as cattle feed and roofing material While rice is just oryza sativa in Latin; the names of some of the varieties in local languages tell far more about the variety; Kaala naaj- black grain, latmar- difficult to thresh, basmati-fragrant rice "Hybrid rice is not for the poor." Gobar Times, January 15, 2004 Down To Earth supplement 95