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Hybrid Seeds : High-yield IPA-203 arhar variety developed by ICAR

Scientists at the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) have come up with a solution to address the shortage of pulses. An arhar (tur) variety, which has the potential to give much higher yield - almost double - compared to existing variants which is developed by scientists at Kanpur-based Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), an affiliate organisation of ICAR.

The average yield of existing pulses varieties in the country is 9-10 quintals a hectare, but the new variety developed by IIPR scientists has the potential to give 20 quintals.The central government, along with ICAR, is extensively promoting this variety - IPA-203 - in the northern and central regions of the country, where it wants to push pulses cultivation by encouraging farmers to shift from wheat and rice. "We are trying to popularise this new seed variety through our network of 150 seed stations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Agriculture Universities and also National Seed Corporation," N P Singh, director of IIPR.

Arhar (tur) is mostly grown in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, while it is consumed almost in all parts of the country.A recent study done by rating agency CRISIL showed that 70 per cent of India's annual pulses production comes from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.