New rice, potato strain to combat climate change

Special Correspondent

ICAR scientists are conducting research to develop the varieties

They are to withstand vagaries of weather

Innovations are likely to be ready for farmers to use in five years’ time

BANGALORE: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is developing plant varieties that will withstand the effects of climate change.

Speaking at a workshop on innovation in agricultural sciences in Bangalore on Tuesday, Swapan Dutta, Deputy Director General, ICAR, said the a new rice strain that will withstand the effects of flooding is likely to be ready for delivery to farmers in three to five years’ time. Dr. Datta said innovations on new crop varieties that are able to withstand the vagaries of the weather would “enable farmers to extend their crop-growing calendar”.

He said ICAR scientists are currently conducting research, which will result in injecting the Sub 1 gene in the rice plant. He explained that the new variety would have characteristics that will enable the plant to grow even when it is fully submerged for up to two weeks.

The institution is also developing a new variety of potato, he added.

The workshop was organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, in collaboration with the All India Crop Biotechnology Association.