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Rice research station okays 10 new varieties for farmers


GUWAHATI, May 8 - Gerua-based Regional Rainfed Lowland Rice Research Station (RRLRRS) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Rice Research Institute (ICAR-NRRI) has recommended 10 new rice varieties for farmers of Assam.

These varieties have been found suitable for lowland rice ecology and for the climatic condition of Assam after tests and field trials.

�We have carried out tests at our centre. We have standing crops of these varieties in our own fields. The results have been very good. We have found the varieties suitable for the climate of Assam and have recommended these varieties,� Dr Rupankar Bhagawati, Officer In-charge and principal scientist of RRLRRS, ICAR-NRRI, Gerua, told The Assam Tribune on Thursday.

These are CR Dhan 310, CR Dhan 309, CR Dhan 311 (all high protein varieties), CR Dhan 801, CR Dhan 802 (both climate smart varieties), CR Dhan 909 (which is an aromatic high yielding variety), CR Dhan 307, CR Dhan 506, CR Dhan 601 and Chandrama (all four high yielding varieties suitable for lowland situation).

While CR Dhan 601 and Chandrama are suitable for cultivation in all seasons, the other eight varieties are basically for planting only in the kharif season.

Dr Bhagawati said that RRLRRS has some quantities of paddy seeds of these 10 varieties available with it for distribution.

�We can provide the seeds on a first-cum-first-serve basis to interested parties,� he said, adding that sale of paddy seeds for kharif or sali rice is going on at the RRLRRS�s office during working days.

Each of the ten recommended varieties has certain specific features. For example, CR Dhan 310 is the world�s first bio fortified rice variety with high protein content of 10.3 per cent and zinc content of around 20 parts per million (ppm). It was developed by cross between the popular rice variety Naveen with ARC10075 of Assam and is moderately resistant to leaf blast, brown spot, sheath rot, stem borer, leaf folder and gall midge biotype 1.

CR Dhan 909 is semi-dwarf having a strong aroma and is suitable for rice flakes and confectionary products. The yield of the new varieties ranges from 4.5-5.5 tonnes per hectare for CR Dhan 909 and 4.7-5 tonnes per hectare in case of Chandrama to 6.5-8 tonnes per hectare for CR Dhan 307.

�In addition to these ten varieties, we have another six other varieties � BINA 17, BIRRI 75, CR Dhan 508, CR Dhan 505, CR Dhan 501 and CR Dhan 500 � which are similarly suitable for lowlands and perfect for planting and harvesting in the climatic conditions of Assam. However, at this moment we do not have extra seeds of those six varieties. But if we get advance orders we can develop their seeds for next year. Anybody interested can place the order now and we will be ready to deliver seeds of the other six varieties next year. If we get orders we will produce specifically for the party which requests as per the quantity and the variety they seek and they can collect it next year,� Dr Bhagawati said.

RRLRRS is involved only in production of breeder seeds. �That is our mandate. We do not produce foundation seed or certified seed. That is done by the Seed Corporation, companies or others like NGOs,� added Dr Bhagawati.

He added, �Advance planning and booking of suitable rice variety is the best strategy of successful agricultural production. We have kept open booking for next year�s delivery till May 25.�

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