Andhra Pradesh

Cultivation of five paddy varieties banned in East Godavari

East Godavari Joint Collector G. Lakshmisha inspecting MTU-3626 paddy variety procured from farmers near Kakinada.  

The State government has imposed a ban on the cultivation of five paddy varieties released by the Andhra Pradesh Rice Research Institute (APRRI) and the Regional Agriculture Research Station (RARS) in East Godavari district from the 2021-22 kharif season, citing poor demand in the market, more broken grain percentage and low cooking quality as the reasons.

Located at Maruteru in West Godavari district, the APRRI and RARS of the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agriculture University have been developing several paddy varieties for the Krishna and Godavari region. The paddy variety developed by the APRRI and RARS is known as ‘MTU’.

On June 18, the East Godavari District Agriculture Advisory Board (AAB) met here to communicate the decision to the farmers and other stakeholders in the presence of Agriculture Minister K. Kannababu.

According to the AAB-East Godavari, the banned varieties are MTU – 3626 (Prabhat – grown in rabi season) which is widely known as ‘Bondalu’, MTU-1010 (120-day rabi crop), MTU-1001 (Vijetha-rabi), and kharif varieties of MTU-1153 and MTU-1156.

Released in 1976, the MTU-3626 variety is being preferred by farmers from East Godavari district. Kerala is the only State that consumes the variety. During the last rabi season, the production of the Bondalu variety was 41 % (around 5.5 lakh MT) of the total paddy production of 12.5 lakh MTs in the district.

“The five paddy varieties have been banned due to some unfavorable features pertaining to yield and market. Farmers should cooperate with the government to switch over from these five varieties to the ones with better demand in market,” said Mr. Kannababu.

In the case of MTU-1153 and MTU-1156 varieties released in 2015, the high percentage of broken rice, low cooking quality, and black spots are the prime factors for the ban.

Action plan

“The farmers have been warned not even to prefer the Bondalu variety this kharif season to produce seeds. Until now, the marketing of Bondalu variety was in the hands of the rice millers as the variety is consumed only in Kerala,” said Agriculture Joint Director (East Godavari) N. Vijay Kumar.

The AAB has also banned the MC-13 variety developed by the TATA group on the grounds of ‘poor marketing’.

Alternative varieties

The AAB has suggested that farmers cam shift to eight new varieties instead of the banned six varieties; MTU 7029, 1064, 1061, and 1121 and BPT 5204, RGL 2537, RPBIO 226, and PLA 1100. The government has set a target to complete transplantation of paddy by June 31 and end the kharif season by November 15.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 10:50:37 PM |

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