"A team of scientists at Bihar Agriculture University (BAU) at Sabour in Bhagalpur district, have developed a new variety of paddy for rain-deficient areas," Vice Chancellor M.L. Choudhary said on Thursday.

Choudhary said the aerobic variety is named Sabour Ardhjal and  requires less water compared to other varieties.

"This variey will require 50 percent less irrigation compared to other paddy varieties," he said.

Choudhary said that the outcome of the first trial of new variety in rain deficient areas in Munger, Patna, Gaya, Banka, Jehanabad, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Nalanda districts was satisfactory.

Millions of farmers in Bihar have been hit by consecutive droughts  in the state in last five years. Last year the government declared 33 of 38 districts as drought-hit. The state recorded 25 percent deficit in its annual rainfall.

After attaining record paddy production of over 80 lakh tonnes in the 2012 kharif season, Bihar harvested around 50 lakh tonnes of paddy in 2013 as poor rains in July-August badly hit paddy transplantation.

Rice production in Bihar was 36.4 lakh tonnes in 2009-10 which increased to 81.87 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 and 87 lakh tonnes in 2012-13.

Latest News from State News Desk