The hybrids made of ‘Narasimha cotton’ are cultivated in over one crore acres contributing a tax amount of Rs. 300 crore on sale of cotton and seed
The cotton variety invented by a scientist at Regional Agriculture Research Centre at Nandyal set an all time record by earning tax revenue of Rs. 300 crore annually for the State exchequer.
The variety ‘Narasimha’ has been in vogue for more than 18 years setting another milestone.
Dr. K. Ravindranath, senior cotton breeder at Nandyal, embarked upon the project of developing a versatile cotton variety in 1985 and his efforts bore fruit only in 1996 when ‘Narasimha’ was officially released by the university into the market naming after then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, who also represented the Nandyal constitutency.
Narasimha cotton is widely used as parent line by more than 20 leading cotton seed manufacturers in the country including Monsanto. The hybrids made of Narasimha are cultivated in over one crore acres across the country contributing a tax amount of Rs. 300 crore on sale of cotton and seed.
Usually, any variety remains in currency for five or six years before another improvised variety hits the market. Dr. Ravindranath told The Hindu that the variety survived the competition because of its rare qualities like recovery of 37 per cent lint after ginning, stable length of 28 mm, yield up to 12 quintal per acre, rejuvenation quality and resistance to pest and drought.
The hybrids give around 80 bowls of 5-6 gram each while straight variety recorded an average yield of 30 to 40 bowls with four gram each.
Explaining the virtues of Narasimha, which is considered mother of all cotton varieties, Dr. Ravindranath explained that the variety was developed from LRA 5166 and NA 1148.
The scientist who produced a jewel has gone unnoticed along with another scientist M.V. Reddy who developed BPT 5204 (Samba Masuri).