Yogi’s gift: Paddy varieties that survive vagaries of weather
Ayodhya: The Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology (NDUAT) in Masaudha in Ayodhya district is bringing good news for farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Scientists in the university have developed varieties of paddy that can be grown in times of floods as well as drought.
This has been done on the initiative of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who has given a special package ‘Centre of Excellence for Rice’ to NDUAT.
The Chief Minister has been particularly concerned about the plight of farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh since most of them suffer huge losses due to unexpected weather conditions.
The scientists are developing new varieties of paddy that can withstand the vagaries of weather and multi-location trials are on. Some paddy varieties are already being cultivated by farmers with good results.
A.K. Singh, assistant professor in the Crop Physiology Department in NDUAT, said that varieties like Suvarna and Samba Masuri can remain submerged in water for up to 12 days. “These varieties will regenerate once the water is drained off,” he said.
If an area is facing drought conditions, the new variety NDR 97 is apt for cultivation.
“We have latest varieties like Barani, Susamrat and Saubhagi that rate high on moisture conservation. These varieties ripen within 100 to 120 days, compared to the normal variety that takes about 150 days. Saubhagi is most popular with farmers now,” said Dr Singh.
He said that the varieties being developed in NDUAT are also being connected with other locations in the country’s rice belt that have different eco systems.
The Barani deep variety of rice was well suited for rain-fed upland condition of Uttar Pradesh. This rice variety has long cylindrical grains with a good cooking quality. It is also fertilizer responsive as well as resistant to brown spot, bacterial leaf blight and rot.
The scientist said that the NDUAT had been working in close coordination with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Philippines that has provided the germ plasma for the new varieties.
IIRI in Philippines is the world’s biggest rice research centre and is located in Laguna.