Ludhiana: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on Thursday approved the 'Punjab Basmati 2' variety of rice developed by the Punjab Agricultural University for notification.
The decision was taken by the Crop Standards, Notification and Release of Varieties for Agricultural Crops during the meeting held under the Chairmanship of Swapan K Datta, Deputy Director General (Crop Science), ICAR, New Delhi.
The Head of Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Allah Rang said this variety has been developed by PAU by crossing two traditional basmati cultivars, Basmati 386 and Super Basmati.
This semi-tall (125 cm) and weakly photoperiod-sensitive variety possesses extra-long slender and clear translucent, strongly scented grains which get nearly double length after cooking and are non-sticky and soft to eat, said Dr Rang. Giving about 20 percent higher yield than Basmati 386 variety, this cultivar matures in nearly 140 days after seeding, he added.
The Senior Rice Breeder of the PAU Rice Section, G S Mangat said that the variety Punjab Basmati 2 also possesses moderate level of resistance to white backed plant hopper, neck blast and foot rot which are a serious threat to Basmati cultivation.
He said that the variety holds benefits, including enhancement in the farmers' income due to saving through reduced need of chemical sprays, reduced environment pollution and reduced chances of chemical residues in the grains.
In addition to strong aroma with excellent cooking and eating quality characteristics, this variety will have wider acceptance in the international markets, especially Europe, as it has been developed by crossing two traditional basmati cultivars, he added.


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