New rice variety likely to transform crop production in eastern India

Jitendra Chaoubey

A new paddy variety that developed from two Philippines varieties will transform the crop production in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha. The rice productivity in these states has reached stagnated. Indian agricultural scientists at Benaras Hindu University (BHU), in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Philippines, developed a new rice variety Malviya Manila Sinchit Dhan-1. 

This variant’s productivity is higher than other conventional varieties. Moreover, it ripens early and resists wind due to stronger stems, and skirts drought. “According to Indian Council of Agriculture Research assessments this variety’s productivity is around 55-64 quintal per hectare, which is twice the average productivity in India,” says Dr Sarvan Kumar Singh, lead scientist at the BHU who developed the variety, told this newspaper.

India’s average production of rice is around 29 quintals per hectare. The other scientists associated with the effort are Dr Jaya Sudha, Dr Dhirendra Kumar Singh, Dr Akansha Singh from BHU, and Dr Arvind Kumar and Vikas Kumar from IRRI. Scientists used two IR-series rice varieties, indigenous to the Philippines, to develop Malviya Manila Sinchit Dhan-1 (MMSD). One of the varieties of the IR-series was IR-8, which was considered ‘miracle rice’ in the 1970s and helped increase global food production to counter hunger.

“The MMSD variety will revolutionise the Indian rice field, at least in eastern Indian states like Bihar, UP and Odisha,” says Dr Sarvan. According to ICAR assessment, MMSD has an encouraging response in Bihar, UP and Odisha. The production of grains was higher than 10% in these states compared to other states. This variety takes 115 days to ripen, and grain quality is better than the existing variety, which would help fetch higher prices to growers.

“During the de-husking, hulling, and milling process, the head rice (whole rice) recovery percentage is 63.5%, whereas conventional rice gets broken more and reduces the market value,” says Sarvan Kumar. 

Better ripening, more yield

A team of scientists from BHU and IRRI develops an early ripening variety of rice from the Philippines’ variety

Two Philippines’ varieties of IR-series used to develop Malviya Manila Sinchit Dhan-1

The new variety takes 115-118 days, produces 55-64 quintal per hectare, whereas existing varieties takes 135-160 days with less production

This article has been republished from New Indian Express

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