BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday requested the Centre to set up a national level pulse research institute for development of suitable varieties in the state.
In a letter to union agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister Radha Mohan Singh, the chief minister urged to establish a national level pulse research institute or a branch of Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur to develop suitable varieties in the state in a time bound manner.
He said setting up the institute will ensure an increase in production and productivity of pulses in the state benefiting the nation.
“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,” he added.
The chief minister informed that pulses are grown in about 20.88 lakh hectares in Odisha that includes 6.86 lakh hectares in Kharif and 14.02 lakh hectares in Rabi, which is higher than most states in India.
He said the state has about 16 lakh hectares of rice fallow which can be easily utilised for the cultivation of pulses during Rabi season.
Mung, Urd, Arhar, Kulthi, Gram, Cowpea, Field Pea and Lentil are some of the primary pulses grown in the state, he added.
“The Seed Replacement Rate of pulses is low due to non-availability of suitable cold tolerant varieties in the state as pulses are grown in vast areas during the winter season as pyyra crops,” said the chief minister.
He said many indigenous local varieties of pulses, suitable to these climatic conditions are being used while the yield potential of these varieties is below the national average.
The chief minister, however, said the state had 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.
He informed that MoUs had been signed with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and National Seeds Corporation (NSC) for taking up seed production within the state.