Super harvest

Published: Tuesday 30 June 1998

Scientists in India are developing 'superwheat' varieties that can yield 15 to 25 per cent more than the presently available best varieties. S Nagarajan, head of Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), Karnal, Haryana, says that 'superwheat' varieties could yield nearly eight tonnes per hectare (ha), which is about 1.5 tonnes more than the current best varieties like PBW343 and UP2338. These varieties produce 6.5 tonnes per ha under optimum conditions of growth, he says. The new varieties could be available in the market by the year 2005. If 'superwheat' becomes available commercially, it could reverse the stagnant trend in wheat production. India's annual production of wheat in the last five years has hovered around 60 to 62 million tonnes per year. Overall foodgrain output in the same period was nearly 195 million tonnes. The DWR is a part of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

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