IMPHAL, March 15 - In what may come as a boon for paddy-dependent States like Manipur, scientists at the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Manipur centre have come out with a climate resilient variety of paddy that is capable of defying certain climatic conditions.
The mandate of ICAR Manipur centre, which was established in 1975, was to develop suitable farm technologies for the farmers of the State. Since its inception it has released about eight varieties of rice, including two pre-kharif varieties. This year, a new climate resilient variety has been approved and released in a recently concluded national seminar on ‘Integrating Agri-horticultural and Allied Research for Food and Nutritional Security in the Era of Global Climate Disruption’.
Disclosing this to The Assam Tribune in a brief chat here, S Bhuvaneshwari, a scientist (plant breeding) with the ICAR Manipur centre, said they have recently develop a climate resilient and high yielding paddy variety - RC Maniphou 13 or RCM 30 after 10 years of research.
“The new paddy, which looks long and bold and sticky when cooked, is a fertilizer responsive variety,” says Bhuvaneshwari. “Having the soft cooking quality, the cultivation period of the new paddy variety takes 125 to 135 days.”
With the launching of the new paddy variety, farmers in areas facing unpredicted climatic conditions would be benefited a lot, the scientist said. However the variety is yet to be tested in flood-hit areas.
“We’ve tried the new paddy variety in our field and we find the variety pest (neck blast) tolerant and its yield is also actually encouraging,” says Wahengbam Ibobi, a cultivator of Chingarel agricultural fields in Manipur’s Imphal East district when contacted on phone.
The total area brought under paddy cultivation in Manipur is 2,37,000 hectare, with a production of 503.40 metric tonnes of clean rice in 2015-16, according to State Agriculture Department.