New wheat variety doubles farmers’ yield in a Maharashtra village

New wheat variety doubles farmers’ yield in a Maharashtra village
The newly developed common wheat or bread wheat, also called high yielding Aestivum, matures in 110 days and is resistant to most races of leaf and stem rust

Farmers now have a wheat variety developed by Indian scientists with significantly higher yield. The chapati from the flour of this wheat also scores high on quality.

This wheat variety — MACS 6478–, developed by scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute under Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has doubled the crop yield for farmers in Karanjkhop, a village in Maharashtra, the Ministry has said.

The farmers of the village in Koregaon tehsil of Satara district in Maharashtra are now getting a yield of 45-60 quintal per hectare with the new variety as against earlier average yield ranging 25-30 quintal per hectare when they cultivated Lok 1, HD 2189 and other old varieties, the Ministry has further said.

According to the Ministry, the newly developed common wheat or bread wheat, also called high yielding Aestivum, matures in 110 days and is resistant to most races of leaf and stem rust. The amber coloured medium sized grain contains 14 percent protein, 44.1 ppm zinc and 42.8 ppm iron which is higher than other cultivated varieties.

Read more: All you need to know about progress of agricultural research in India

The chapati quality of flour of this wheat is excellent, having score of 8.05 with good bread quality scoring 6.93. Maharashtra State seed agency for seed multiplication, ‘Mahabeej’ is carrying out certified seed production of MACS 6478 for use by farmers.

With the efforts of a former seed certification officer and support from ARI staff, so far 10 farmers of the village have cultivated this variety on 14 acres of land. Farmers of Karanjkhop have planned to establish a company for further seed production and other agricultural produce.

“We needed one spark to motivate us and that is provided by ARI wheat variety MACS 6478. Now, we will never look back.” Ramesh Jadhav, a farmer, who witnessed all this change said.

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