Ancient Alien Crop Introductions Integral to Indian Agriculture: An Overview

  • ANURUDH KUMAR SINGH Retired Plant/Agricultural Scientist
Keywords: Key words, Ancient crop introductions, archeological, archaeobotanical, literary, Sanskrit



India is one of the major centers of agricultural plant biodiversity. Many of crop plants were domesticated and a far greater number were introduced from different parts of the world since ancient times. The archaeobotanical remains, sculptural depictions, and their reference in ancient literature (Sanskrit), presents unambiguous evidence for introduction of 65 crop species before 8th century. It includes crops from Americas, Africa, Near East, Central Asia, China and Southeast Asia. Introduction/occurrence is speculated because of geological and geographical fragmentation of continental landmass, followed by drift; natural or man-made transoceanic movement, and trade and cultural exchange. The evidence generated straighten the wrong perceptions about the time of introduction of many crops such as maize, sunflower, cashew, etc.

Author Biography

ANURUDH KUMAR SINGH, Retired Plant/Agricultural Scientist

Dr. Anurudh K. Singh

Former, Scholar-in-Residence, Dept. of Genetics, MD University, Rohtak

National Genebank Curator & Head, Division of Germplasm Conservation, NBPGR;

Project Coordinator (Pigeonpea) ICAR

Senior Scientist (Germplasm/Cytogenetics), ICRISAT

H.No. 2924, Sector-23, Gurgaon-122 017, Haryana, INDIA

Phone: 91-0124-4110355; Cell: 91-0-9540127222




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