Agri Business

TN farm varsity introduces flood-resistant rice

L. N. Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on September 15, 2011

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Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has introduced ‘Swarna Sub1', a flood resistant rice variety.

(Swarna Sub1 is a cross of Swarna, a popular rice variety in Eastern States with FR13A, a local variety of Orissa).

Researchers say that all features of the Swarna variety are present in the newly-introduced Swarna Sub1 except submergence tolerance. The yield level of Swarna Sub1 was found to be higher over Swarna even under prolonged flood conditions.

“Swarna Sub1 can tolerate 14-17 days of water stagnation during floods,” Dr K. Thiyagarajan, Director, Centre for Plant Breeding & Genetics, TNAU said.

He said that scientists at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines worked on the genetics of flood resistance in FR13A, identified a genetic locus called ‘Sub1' and using DNA markers as selection tools developed and introduced Swarna Sub1 for cultivation in 2009.

Swarna is cultivated in around six million hectares in the eastern States, which normally report huge losses due to submergence.

The Varsity Vice-Chancellor, Dr P Murugesa Boopathi, said that rice was being cultivated in around 15 lakh hectares in the State every year during the Samba/thaladi season of which close to a third (3-5 lakh hectares ) of the area was affected due to floods during the North-East monsoon.

The flood-prone tail-end areas of delta districts and some of the coastal districts like Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam are the worst-affected belts. “Most of the present day high yielding varieties are unable to tolerate flood water that remains for more than a week. Swarna Sub1 can resist floods and therefore, will be a boon to these areas,” he said.

Dr S. Robin, Professor and Head, Department of Rice, TNAU said that the university undertook extensive research to study the efficiency of Swarna Sub1 in mitigating the effect of floods during 2010-11 samba season. Demonstrations conducted at several locations proved its suitability.

He said that a consignment of 10 quintals of Swarna Sub1 seed was received from Uttar Pradesh and seed distribution campaigns were organised through the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) of Thanjavur (Needamangalam) and Namakkal (Sikkal) districts.

The seed was distributed to around 100 farmers who were advised to raise Swarna Sub1 using SRI (System of Rice Intensification) technology, to get higher yields.

Published on September 15, 2011

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