The Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARi) has released seven new varieties of crops, including wheat, rice, chickpea, mustard and pigeon pea, in a sign the country’s efforts to reduce the country’s import bill and farm stress by producing higher yield food grains were paying off.
The new varieties are resilient to pests and insects and also have a high yield, raising monetary benefits for the farmer battling two consecutive droughts and a wider fall in agriculture output.
India is worried over rising imports of pulses and edible oil and the IARI has been working towards producing varieties that could make the country self sufficient in key crops.
The institute’s short-duration, high-yielding basmati rice varieties have helped India boost its export earnings, accounting for more than 90 percent of the 30,000 crore rupees of exports in the current year. Likewise, IARI wheat varieties have resulted in an additional production of three million tonnes last fiscal.
After a contraction of its agriculture sector in the last fiscal, India expects it to grow by 1.1 percent in the curent 2015/16 fiscal year despite a drought for the second year in the running. After a record food grains production of 265 million tonne in 2013-14, a year of normal monsoon,
India produced only 253 million tonne in 2014-15 thanks to a deficient monsoon.