India’s honorable prime minister Narendra Modi launched an agglomeration of a variety of new high yield crop types on 28th September 2021. It is a very big deal for India; the world’s second largest rice explorer to achieve this.
What is the new variety
The main crop launched among them with a variety of benefits is the rice crop. India’s very first of it’s own non- genetically modified herbicide tolerant rice crop variety. This very new rice variety can directly be sown in the soil, bringing the expenditure down on water and farm workers.
The standard procedure of rice cultivation generally required the farmers to sow the seeds and then wait for a period of around 20 to 30 days or 1 month; so as to then transplant these seeds into fields. With India’s very new and superior quality rice crop , our farmers only have to irrigate the fields once, so as to moisten the soil bed , before proceeding to sow the crop.
This new variety is developed by Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
How is it developed?
The new varieties of rice are – Pusa Basmati 1979 and Pusa Basmati 1985. They have been developed or bred by crossing the very known and popular existing varieties Pusa 1121 and Pusa 1509 – with Robin. The very latter is a mutant crop line derive from an existing upland drought resistant rice variety – Nagina 22. This quality was identified for Imazethapyr – tolerance ; by a rice breeder from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University named S. Robin; hence the name.
These kinds of rice contain a rather mutated acetolactate synthase or ALS gene. This allows the farmers to disseminate or spray this broad spectrum herbicide; to control the weeds; as was clearly stated by the provided report.
Benefits of the new variety:
1. A lot of water can be conserved with the launch of the new variety i.e. around 50 to 60 percent water use. The earlier consumption of water was around 3000 to 5000 litres.
2. The new variety is said to contain a specific gene that would enable the farmers to spray a rather inexpensive herbicide for pests; without the worry of any kind of side effects.
3. The never- ending problem and worry of weeds is solved to a large extent by this variety.
4. The rice crop as well as all the other 34 varieties of crops are climate resilient.
5. All of them have a high moisture content.
6. Summing up; a crop that is climate savvy, is nutritionally of the best quality with a lot less labour can prove to be really beneficial for the country.
7. The crops will also address the issue of many anti – nutritional factors.
Other crops that were launched are
The 35 crop varieties mainly include a drought tolerant quality of chickpea, wilt and sterility mosaic tolerant pigeonpea, disease tolerant varieties of bio fortified quality of wheat and rice; early maturing quality of soybean, quinoa, buckwheat, faba bean and a lot more such crops.
PM Modi mentioned that additionally variety of crops such as canola quality hybrid RCH 1 with less than 2 percent erucic acid, Pusa double zero mustard 33 and a soybean variety free from 2 anti nutritional factors and other special traits were also developed.
With the accelerating climate change, it becomes increasingly important for such new varieties to be developed. Such varieties generally take care of all the factors that have been toxic for many years by additionally adding a variety of benefits. Achieving these kind of goals is something that will ensure food security in the longer run and along with that ensure the well being of our farmers.