Cuttack, April 16 (Odisha.in) Scientists at the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) in Cuttack have developed a high yielding variety of paddy that can be grown in deepwater areas of the country, an official said on Sunday.
The variety which is likely to be named as ‘CR Dhan 500' matures in 160-165 days. It has tall plant type and possesses moderate kneeing and elongation ability, institute director Dr. T.K. Adhya told Odisha.in.
The total area under deep water situation in the country is nearly 1.2 million hectares which varies upon the quantum of rainfall received.
There has been an increasing requirement for a good high yielding variety of rice which can withstand prolonged period of water logging as experienced in deepwater areas.
Especially paddy output was often low in areas like Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur and Puri districts of Orissa and Eastern region of Uttar Pradesh which witness frequent floods and water logging.
Earlier varieties with a yield potential of less than two tons per hectare were grown in these localities and Dr. Adhya believes the latest variety is likely serve as a boon to this huge area where nothing other than rice was grown.
The new variety was not a genetically modified crop and was developed by conventional breeding method. It has shown 29.2 per cent yield superiority over national check with superior grain quality of medium slender grains.
Scientists of the crop improvement division of the institute led by Dr. S.K. Pradhan were involved in the breeding of this variety, Adhya said.
The entire process took six years including three years of all India testing under the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP), he said.
The new variety has been cleared by the variety identification committee of the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP) in its meeting held at Hyderabad from April 09-11.
The proposal for release of the variety will now be placed before the seeds sub-committee of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) for notification, he said.
Adhya said farmers are likely to get the seeds for cultivation by the Kharif season of 2013.
Efforts to develop varieties for handicapped ecology like deep water and coastal saline areas are on. CRRI has released last year another variety named CR Dhan 501 for such situation and researchers say the seed variety is also doing well.
Apart from India work on deepwater rice is also going on in Thailand.
Set up in April 1946, CRRI-one of Asia’s oldest rice research institutes and the leading rice research centre of the country, has so far released about 82 rice varieties for different ecological situations.