New Delhi: The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Mr Arun Jaitley and Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Mr Radha Mohan Singh made the field visits of new variety of pulses, PUSA Arhar-16 on October 31st at New Delhi. Mr Singh gave details information about the new variety to Mr Jaitley who congratulated the scientists of Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) in developing the PUSA Arhar -16 and expressed hope that country will soon become self-sufficient in pulses.
Mr Radha Mohan Singh on the occasion said that PUSA Arhar-16 is extra early maturing, semi-dwarf, determinate, high yielding variety and will be available to farmers from next Kharif season. The Minister informed that while the traditional varieties take 170 days to mature this new variety take less time to mature i.e 120 days only.
On the occasion, Mr Shobhna K. Pattanayak, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General, ICAR and Director, IARI and Dr Ravindra Kaur were also present.
How is Pusa Arhar-16 beneficial to farmers?
ICAR-Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi has developed extra early maturing (120 days), semi-dwarf (95 cm to 120 cm tall), determinate, high yielding new plant type genetic material viz., Pusa Arhar 16 which is semi-erect compact plant type. This plant type allows dense plant population of 3,30,000 plants/ha when planted with Row X Row spacing of 30 cm and Plant X Plant spacing of 10 cm. High density planting is important to realize higher yield and mechanization. Traditional varieties do not allow high density planting as their plant type is indeterminate and spreading type. Thus, suitability to high population density of this line allows uniform plant density and ultimately uniform plant stand and thereby reduces losses in yield due to seedling mortality.
In the form of Pusa Arhar-16, the ICAR-IARI has tailored a new plant type arhar in line with semi-dwarf rice and wheat. The NPT arhar requires a modified agronomy for maximizing the productivity with reduced cost of cultivation, which has been developed. All items of farm machinery used for wheat from sowing to harvesting are fully utilizable for cultivation of NPT Arhar.
Pusa Arhar 16 allows effective spraying of insecticide even with Knapsack sprayer for effective control of insects due to compactness and dwarfness. This new plant type, with synchronous maturity, is also suitable for combine harvesting and thus does not require manual laborers for harvesting and threshing. Harvesting and threshing in traditional varieties require more manpower and time thereby increasing the cost of cultivation and chances of losses due to damage by untimely rains. This extra early line also allows growing of mustard/potato/wheat in rabi after harvest of pigeonpea successfully. Moreover, as this line is extra early maturing (120 days) it allows flexibility of sowing from onset of monsoon (5th June) to even up to 1st week of July.