India develops hybrid mustard seed, better yield expected

August 28th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) India has developed a better variety of hybrid seed of mustard, which it is saying will catapult the output of the country’s key oil crop.The new hybrid of the rapeseed-mustard seed has been developed by scientists at the National Research Centre (NRC) in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. NRC is an affiliate of India’s premier farm research body, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).

The Delhi-headquartered ICAR under the ministry of agriculture Thursday claimed the new rapeseed-mustard seed was the first hybrid one ever developed by Indian scientists.

The new seed, developed through heterosis breeding using specialised genetic male sterility system, has been named NRC Sankar Sarson (NRCHB 506).

The new seed is meant for cultivation in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

“Rapeseed-mustard is an important oilseed crop commodity contributing 26.1 and 29.1 percent, respectively, to the total oilseed hectarage and production in India,” said ICAR.

K.H. Singh, senior scientist associated with developing the hybrid seed, said 11 trials across five states found its oil yield was 26 percent and 20 percent higher than that of the existing popular varieties, Maya and Varuna, respectively.

“This hybrid has shown wide adaptability,” Singh said.

“The development of hybrid in Indian mustard, the second most important oilseed crop of the country will help enhance the productivity of the mustard crop,” said NRC director Arvind Kumar.

An official estimate said there has been a remarkable increase in rapeseed-mustard production and productivity during the last two decades.

The area under rapeseed-mustard cultivation was 6.33 million hectares, yielding 6.69 million tonnes in 2006-07 with an average productivity of a little over a tonne per hectare.

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