Assessment of ago-morphological diversity among conserved accessions is helpful in germplasm management and crop improvement practices. In this study 174 Pakistani Rice landrace genotypes were evaluated for 18 quantitative and 9 qualitative agro-morphological traits. Substantial amount of genetic diversity was observed for most of the traits studied. Mean values of landrace genotypes were compared with three check varieties, IR36, Super Basmati and JP5.
Rice is grown in all four provinces of Pakistan. However, the acreage under rice varies greatly from one province to another. The Punjab and Sindh are the major rice growing provinces with about 59% and 33%, respectively of the total rice in the country. The remaining 5% of the area is planted in Baulochistan and 3% in NWFP (FAO, 2004). Despite the fact that it’s cultivated area is far smaller than wheat (more than 7.24 million), it has a great impact on national economy due to two reasons. Firstly, rice is the only crop which can be grown successfully in vast chunks of salt-ridden and water-logged areas where it facilitates not only the reclamation of land for the cultivation of other crops but also provide food. Secondly, superior quality basmati has a consistently increasing demand in the foreign countries. Consequently, there is a great scope for augmenting the foreign exchange earning by exporting it in bigger quantity. In view of these facts, it is highly desirable to increase the production and improve the quality of rice. The quality is particularly more important from the “trade view point”, as it is instrument entail in increasing and then sustaining the demand in the foreign market in competition with other rising exporting countries. There in no denying the fact that purity is the very sole of quality. The impurities not only restrict the export trade, but also inflict losses to the growers, millers and the consumers alike. Therefore, these should possibly be minimized (Salim et al. 2003).
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Rice (Oryza sativa (2n = 24) is a monocot plant and belongs to the Poaceae family and Oryzoidea subfamily. It occupies almost one-fifth of the total land area under world cereals. It covers about 148 million hectares annually that is roughly 11 percent of the world-cultivated land. It is life for more than half of humanity and in past, it shaped the cultures, diets, and economies of billions of people in the world (Farooq et al. 2009). Rice is a major source of macro and micronutrients for human being. It is used as feed for more than two billion people worldwide and one of the staple food in Asia. It provides over 21 percent of the calorific needs of the world’s population and up to 76 percent of the calorific intake of the population of South East Asia (Fitzgerald et al.
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