Thursday 26 May 2022
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New dal to pulse food economy

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New Delhi: Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley and Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh made field visits of a new variety of pulses, PUSA Arhar-16, Monday, 31 October. ICAR-IARI, New Delhi, has developed this extra early maturing, semi-dwarf, determinate, high-yielding new plant type genetic material, which is a semi-erect compact plant type. Standing at a height of 95 cm to 120 cm, it matures in 120 days, enabling farmers to earn faster from their produce. The traditional varieties take 170 days to mature.

This plant type allows dense plant population of 3,30,000 plants/ha when planted leaving a gap of 30 cm each between consecutive rows and 10 cm each between consecutive plants. High density planting is important to realize higher yield and mechanization.

The traditional varieties of arhar do not allow high density planting as their plant type is indeterminate and spreading. Since the developed variety suits high plantation density, the breed reduces losses in yield due to seedling mortality. In the form of Pusa Arhar-16, 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 of cultivation. 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 labourers for harvesting and threshing which, in traditional varieties, require more manpower and thereby increasing the of cultivation and chances of losses due to damage by untimely rains.

This extra early line also allows growing of mustard, potato and wheat in rabi after harvest of pigeonpea successfully. Moreover, as this line matures early, it allows flexibility of sowing from onset of monsoon (5 June) to even up to the first week of July.

During the visit, the agriculture minister gave detailed information about the new variety to the finance minister who congratulated the scientists of ICAR for developing PUSA Arhar-16 and expressed hope that the country would soon become self-sufficient in pulses.

Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare Shobhna K Pattanayak, General of the ICAR Trilochan Mohapatra and Director of the IARI Ravindra Kaur were present on the occasion, too.

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