New Basmati variety by Jammu university doubles farmers’ income

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Jammu has come up with new varieties of seeds of Basmati rice which have doubled the yield per hectare and helped increase farmers’ income.

Scientists at SKUAST have developed the new varieties – Jammu Basmati 118,123 and 136 – after years of research.

Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST, Jammu, JP Sharma told ANI, “The new variety of Jammu Basmati 118 that we came up with is 20 -25 per cent more productive than the most famous varieties Basmati 370 and it is ready for cultivation 25 days before Basmati 370. Also, Basmati 370 takes time to ripen as a result of which farmers do not get time to plant wheat. This will help increase the income of farmers by increasing the yield of both rice and wheat.”

“We released 12 varieties including that of rice, vegetables, pulses, kidney beans and walnuts last year in December which we dedicated to the farmers and we will make available even more varieties of seeds. Some of them have already been given to farmers for testing,” he added.

Sharma further said, “We want to launch a farmer-to-farmer seed production program. As part of this, we want to produce seeds and give them to farmers for production under the university’s supervision. Also in coming years, many other farmers will be covered under the program.”

A farmer said that they have benefited from the new variety of Basmati seeds as the old variety Jammu Basmati 370 used to ripen late and the yield was not as much. This used to result in the late plantation of wheat and lesser produce. The new variety 118 has helped increase the production of both rice and wheat and in doubling the income.

Another farmer stated that production from old variety Basmati 370 was around 1 quintal while that from the new variety Basmati 118 is more than 1.5 quintals. This means greater produce and more money.

These new varieties are also more resistant to diseases, added another farmer.

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