Name : Smt. Ariyammal and Smt. Pushpam
District & State : Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu
Category : Plant varieties
Award : National
Award Function : 7th National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2013
Ariyammal, her husband (late Chinnar) and Pushpam developed Chinnar 20 variety using selection method from ADT-46 paddy variety. This variety is a short duration variety well suited for rain-fed and wetland cultivation. The variety is drought tolerant and high yielding.
Chinnar (55 years, demise in 2009) was a marginal dalit farmer owning about an acre of wet land. His land is now taken care by his widow, Ariyammal and their son. Pushpam is also an illiterate dalit farmer owning five acres of wetland. She has been cultivating chinnar paddy variety for the last 5 years. Their place is inhabited by about 100 dalit families who are mainly agricultural laborers and marginal farmers. The farming is entirely dependent on rain and tank water. As agriculture is on the vagaries of monsoon many families especially men migrate to nearby Kerala to work as plantation laborers during off season.
During 2004, Chinnar and Pushpam had cultivated ADT (Aduthurai) – 46 variety developed by Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department. Pushpam had sown the seeds in her field as direct sowing crop. At the time of weeding Pushpam found a paddy plant different in color and marked that plant. Chinnar, who had his farm next to hers, collected the seeds from that plant separately and raised it in the corner of his field. This plant was completely purple in color with good tillering with the grains being elongated and fine. With the help of Ariyammal, in the subsequent year he cultivated his entire land and obtained relatively more yield of paddy as compared with the other local varieties viz. ADT- 45, 43 etc. Adopting selection method for production of seeds, they checked the stability of characters for five years.