A project on varietal testing in public sector, cooperative sugar mills in the State was launched by Director of Sugar Anu George here recently.
Launching the project at ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute in Coimbatore, she said that there was an urgent need for growing high quality varieties, which can improve the sugar recovery in mills and improve cane yield.
“The State is lagging behind in terms of low cane production and sugar recovery, while the States in north and central India have improved cane production and recovery. Of the 60 different cane varieties grown in the State, 95 % are unworthy of cultivation and they should be phased out and improved varieties introduced besides rejuvenating Co 86032 and the varietal testing project would be a launching pad to fulfil the objective.''
She appealed to the ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute to fulfil the requests in distribution of quality seed material and tissue culture seedlings from the co-operative sector sugar mills.
Bakshi Ram, Director of the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, said that the project was aimed at identifying location specific varieties, combining yield and quality, suitable to farmers and cane industry. This means, the sugar recovery which stands at 8-9 % in the State of Tamil Nadu could be enhanced to 10 % by replacing the old, degenerated varieties with these improved location-specific varieties.
The varietal trials in the identified factory locations will be held for four years, wherein 21 such clones will be tested.