Two new varieties developed by the Andhra Pradesh Rice Research Institute at Maruteru in West Godavari district are gaining acceptance at the field level and they are being welcomed by the farmers in the Godavari delta as well as parts of the Krishna delta in Andhra Pradesh, according to M. Bharata Lakshmi, Associate Director of Research.
She was speaking at scientific advisory committee meeting at the Krishi Vijnan Kendra at Undi village in West Godavari district on Tuesday. She said the institute had developed MTU-1121 variety with a duration of 120 days for the rabi season as an alternative to MTU-1010 variety and also MTU-1112 for kharif season with 140 days duration as an alternative to Swarna, another variety widely grown in the Godavari delta.
She said mini-kits with the new varieties were given to famers in East and West Godavari districts as well as Krishna and Khammam for trials for two crop seasons. She said farmers were not so happy with the old variety, MTU-1010, as it was prone to pests and grain-shedding. The Swarna variety, though still sought-after, as it was high-yielding, had also a disadvantage, as it was susceptible to lodging in the rainy season. The new varieties addressed these problems, she said. In terms of yields and grain quality, the new variety was as good as Swarna, with a yield of 35-40 bags/acre.
Krupa Das, Joint Director of Agriculture, said the cost of cultivation was ever-increasing in the Godavari delta, as farmers were using more chemical fertilisers and also due to high wage rates. Therefore, there was a need for high-yielding, pest-resistant varieties to maximise the returns.