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Distribution of ricebean in India and Nepal

  • Khanal, A.
  • Gautam, R.
  • Joshi, K. D.
  • Hollington, P.
  • Kumar, N.
  • Yadavendra, J. P.
  • Neog, S. B.
  • Thakur, S.
  • Bhandari, B.

This document contains information on the distribution and diversity of ricebean (Vigna umbellata) germplasm in India and Nepal, drawn from the literature, interviews with farmers and scientists, germplasm collection expeditions and field visits. It was produced by a team lead by Mr Resham Gautam of the Nepalese NGO Local Initiatives in Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), including project staff from each of the Indian and Nepalese partners as well as from the UK. Ricebean is an underutilised grain legume cultivated in hill areas of India and Nepal, often as an intercrop. Of the Vigna species, it is most closely related to Adzuki bean (V. angularis). The original centre of domestication is thought to be Indo China, and it is derived from a wild form V. umbellata var gracilis with which it is cross fertile. The wild types occur in natural and disturbed habitats and forest clearings, and are indeterminate, photoperiod-sensitive, freely-branching, twining or trailing plants with small seeds. Many ricebean landraces are similar in form to the wild types. Ricebean is adapted to subhumid regions and in general yields between 200 and 300 kg ha-1. It grows on a wide range of soil types including acid soils and is largely resistant to pests and diseases. It is drought tolerant and will also tolerate some degree of waterlogging. It is a good source of protein and contains high levels of essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Despite these advantages it is little exploited, and has great potential for improvement. Germplasm is held at the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan, as well as with the NBPGR in New Delhi and NARC in Kathmandu: NBPGR has the most comprehensive collection with over 1700 accessions.

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    European Commission 6th Framework Programme, Project no. 032055, Food Security through Ricebean Research in India and Nepal (FOSRIN). Report 1. Distribution of ricebean in India and Nepal. Pokhara, Nepal, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development and Bangor, Wales, UK, CAZS Natural Resources, College of Natural Sciences, Bangor University.