Special Correspondent

It will enable farmers to get six tonnes a hectare

Puducherry: The Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Krishi Vigyan Kendra (PKKVK) in Puducherry has developed a new strain of paddy, which will be released after an approval of Seeds sub-Committee of the Government.

An official source told The Hindu on Tuesday that the kendra had so far brought out six new strains of paddy.

The crop of the new strain will be a high-yielding variety of medium duration and suitable for late samba season.

The kendra's team comprising a rice breeder, entomologist, pathologist and agronomist was associated with development of the new strain.

The variety would enable farmers to get six tonnes of paddy a hectare A suitable name for the new variety would be decided soon.

The PKKVK was established in 1974 and was the first institution to come up under a scheme of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The "tissue culture" project in the Kendra was becoming popular among farmers cultivating bananas and floriculture.

This project was started in 1994 and now the Union Agriculture Ministry had released a grant of Rs.50 lakh to expand the project to increase production of banana saplings from 20,000 to 1.lakh numbers.

"Precision farming" was being propagated among farmers as it had several advantages of involving a full-package of inputs to ensure higher yield of paddy and horticultural crops.

The source said that a total of 1,000 acres of land under paddy and other crops would be brought under precision farming in Nettapakkam, Villianoor and Mannadipet blocks.

There would be judicious and balanced application of inputs under this pattern. The new practice would enable farmers to get as much as 11 tonnes of paddy per hectare against the present 4.5 tonnes. Similarly, the yield in sugarcane and banana would increase through precision farming.

The kendra had made a good record in its propagation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) among farmers.

It had also obtained sufficient grants from the ICAR to implement the technology transfer programme.