KALABURAGI, December 15, 2014
After years of painstaking research coupled with laboratory tests and farm trials, the agriculture scientists in the Agriculture Research Station (ARS) in Kalaburagi city have successfully come out with a new variety of Red Gram - GRG 811.
Dean of Agriculture College P.S. Dharmaraj and Project Director D.M. Mannur told presspersons here on Monday that the new variety after the successful tests in different hotspots in the country and getting the seal of approval from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) is being released for commercial production this year.
A progeny of the popular Maruti variety of Red Gram, the GRG 811, would carry all the useful properties and retain the aroma, flavour and taste of the original variety. One of the major benefits of the new variety was that it was resistant to both wilt and sterility mosaic disease, unlike the Maruti variety.
Prof Dharmaraj said that GRG 811 can be harvested one week earlier than the Maruti variety. The 170-day crop was best suited for deep black cotton soil, drought resistant and could withstand the moisture stress for an extended duration.
Dr Mannur, who played a major role in the invention of a new Bengal Gram variety GBM 2, said that the new variety enabled the crop to grow more horizontally with stronger stems to enable the farmers to take up mechanical harvesting. The new variety has also undergone trials in different hot spots in the country and has been approved by ICAR.
Scientists were now awaiting the permission of the state government to release the crop for commercial production. Apart from enabling mechanical harvesting, the new variety’s yield was 15 per cent more than the older varieties.
He said that another variety MNK-1 (Kabuli channa) released from the ARS a couple of years back in South India is catching up popularity with the farmers due to its qualities of producing bolder variety. Incidentally, MNK 1 was the only pulse variety which has been allowed for export by the union government, since it had a very good oversees market.
Prof Dharmaraj said that the scientists in the ARS were also in the advance stages of research and farm trials of a new Jowar variety GS 23 which is better than the popular M.35-1 Maldandi variety and was resistant to Charcoal Rot diseases. The new variety was now under trials at multiple locations in the country and it would take another two years for its commercial release.