Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) led National Agricultural Research System (NARS) has developed 1956 high yielding varieties/hybrids of 80 field crops since 2014 which include 173 less water requiring varieties/hybrids of cereals (94), oilseeds (14), pulses (25), fibre crops (8), forages (12) and sugarcane (20), Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Total of 56 less water requiring varieties/hybrids of field crops have been developed during 2018-19 to 2020-21, comprising of 31 of cereals (10 of rice, 7 of wheat, 3 of maize, 2 of sorghum and 9 of millets); 6 of oilseeds (2 of soybean, 2 of groundnut, 1 of sesame, 1 of Indian mustard); 10 of pulses (1 of urad bean, 4 of pigeon pea, 1 of horse gram, 2 of chickpea, 1 of lentil and 1 of faba bean); 2 of forages (1 each of fescue grass and setaria grass); 2 of cotton and 5 of sugarcane, Tomar said.
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During last 3 years, 6975.32 quintals (2018-19: 2446.7 q, 2019-20: 2204.45 q and 2020-21:2324.17 q) breeder seed of less water requiring varieties were produced and supplied to various public and private seed production agencies for downstream multiplication as foundation and certified seed by ICAR. A total of 74,43,879 q of certified/ quality seeds of high yielding varieties/hybrids (including stress tolerant) was made available during the years 2019-20 to 2020-21, agriculture minister informed the upper house of the Indian parliament.