- Indian Agriculture Research Institute has successfully tested two new dwarf varieties — Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1638 and Pusa Narendra Kalanamak 1652 — in Uttar Pradesh that give double the yield.
- The breeding programme is done by bringing the dwarfing genes from the rice variety Bindli Mutant 68, and also the gene of Pusa Basmati 1176 was used as a parent to cross with Kalanamak, and the progenies were further back-crossed with Kalanamak to restore its quality.
About Kalanamak Rice
- Kalanamak is a traditional variety of paddy with black husk and strong fragrance, which is considered a gift from Lord Buddha to the people of Sravasti when he visited the region after enlightenment.
- It has high salt content and overshadows basmati due to its agronomic potential.
- It is grown in 11 districts of the Terai region of northeastern Uttar Pradesh and in Nepal.
- The traditional Kalanamak rice is protected under the Geographical Indication (GI) tag system. It’s recorded in the GI application that Lord Budhha gifted Kalanamak paddy to the people of Sravasti so that they remembered him by its fragrance.
- The problem with the traditional variety of Kalanamak paddy is that it’s tall and prone to lodging, which badly impacts grain filling and quality. The yield, as a result, fell drastically, and the market for the rice dwindled, too. The traditional Kalanamak paddy’s yield is barely two to 2.5 tonnes per hectare.
- Lodging is a condition in which the top of the plant becomes heavy because of grain formation, the stem becomes weak, and the plant falls on the ground.
- The aroma of the new breed is higher and nutritional qualities are also excellent.
- This variety has good tolerance to diseases.