Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 12:
Scientists at the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) in Odisha’s Cuttack city have developed four new varieties of drought-resistant paddy and another variety that can be grown in less water conditions.
The new varieties named as Ankit, Sachala, Gopinath, Maudamani can meet the drought condition while another variety, named Chakaakhi, can grow in less water and survive flood conditions up to a week. Besides, it can also withstand high winds.
They have been prepared specifically to deal with the changing climate and pattern of rain in Odisha.
As per the information provided by Sharat Kumar Pradhan, chief scientists of CCRI, “Ankit (CR Paddy-101) can be harvested in three and half months can be cultivated in high lands with less water requirement.
This medium thin variety can be harvested up to 40 quintal per hectare in normal condition and up to 28 quintal per hectare under drought condition. Besides, given its immunity to certain diseases and the ability to be grown through sowing, farmers can save more time and money as it does not require re-plantation. About 68 kgs of rice can be obtained by milling a quintal of paddy of this variety, he said.
Apart from this, Sachala (CR Paddy-203) and Gopinath are also immune to certain diseases and can be harvested in 110 days. The cultivation and harvest are the same like the Ankit variety, he added.
“Maudamani (CR-307), which is a small, fatty and pest-resistant variety of paddy, can be cultivated in the irrigated lands. About 50 quintals per hectare of this variety can be harvested in normal conditions.” Pradhan said.
Talking about the newly developed Chakaakhi (CR-408), Pradhan informed that this fatty and longer variety can withstand flood conditions and pest attack and grow up to 130 to 140 centimetres. The harvest period of this paddy is 160-165 days. It also makes it easy for farmers to clean unwanted grass from the field due to its dark coloured roots which is different from the colour of grass that grows around paddy. This rice would be suitable for preparation of watered rice (Pakhala).
It may be noted that the State Variety Release Committee has developed nine different varieties of paddy this year of which CRRI has developed five.
The CRRI scientists had invented three more varieties of paddy in November last year to meet the climatic conditions of other states.
However, it may take another two years to provide adequate amount of these new varieties of paddy to the farmers of the state,” Pradhan pointed out.