Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 16:
Highlighting that Odisha has potential in the field of pulses production, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh urging him to establish a national level pulse research institute or a branch of Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur in the state so that suitable varieties can be developed in the state in a time bound manner.
“Odisha has about 16 lakh hectares of rice fallow which can be easily utilized for cultivation of pulses during Rabi season. The seed replacement rate of pulses is generally low due to non-availability of suitable cold tolerant varieties in the state as pulses are grown in large areas during the winter season as pyrra crops. Many indigenous local varieties of pulses, suitable to these climatic conditions are being used but the yield potential of these varieties is below the national average. There is a need for research on pulses in the state for development of suitable varieties in the state to enhance the income of the farmers,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote in his letter to Union Agriculture & Farmer Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
Notably, pulses are grown in about 20.88 lakh hectares; 6.86 lakh hectares in Kharif and 14.02 lakh hectares in Rabi in Odisha, which is higher than most states in India. Moong, urad, arhar, kulthi, gram, cowpea, field pea and lentil are some of the major pulses grown in the state.
“The state has taken several steps to bridge the yield gap in pulses like inviting various national and international institutes to develop suitable location specific new varieties for the state. MoUs have been signed with ICRISAT and NSC for taking up seed production within the state,” Patnaik stated.
With the establishment of the national level research institute, the facility will ensure an increase in production and productivity of pulses in the state, in particular, and the nation as a whole, he expressed.