GB Pant varsity scientists develop seven high-yield, disease-resistant pulses

RUDRAPUR: Scientists at GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar district, have introduced seven novel pulse species designed to significantly enhance yields and bolster resistance against prevalent diseases and pests.
Talking to TOI, AS Nain, research director at the university, said, “Among the newly developed species is Pant Matar-484, a compact pea variety. After rigorous three-year yield trials across the northwestern plains of the nation, it emerged as a standout performer, boasting an average yield of 2,333 kg/hectare – a remarkable 21.64% increase over the best standard variety, Pant Matar-250.”
“The trio of Pant Matar-497, Pant Matar-498, and Pant Matar-501 comprises taller pulse pea species. These varieties, too, underwent three years of intensive trials, exhibiting impressive average yields of 1,966 kg/hectare, 2,050 kg/hectare, and 2,140 kg/hectare, respectively. These yields represent remarkable improvements of 12%, 17%, and 22% over the best standard variety, Pant Matar-42,” Nain added.
Nain further said, “Pant Masoor-14 and Pant Masoor-15 are small-grained lentil varieties. Extensive trials over three consecutive years demonstrated average yields of 1,555 kg/hectare and 1,559 kg/hectare, respectively. These yields represent a 15.27% and 15.57% increase over the yield of the best standard variety, Pant Masoor-8. Furthermore, both species exhibit resistance to rust and Stemphylium blight diseases, and moderate resistance to Ascochyta blight, rust diseases, aphids, and pod borer insects.”
Meanwhile, MS Chauhan, vice-chancellor, the project’s team including scientists RK Panwar, SK Verma, and Anju Arora, for their contributions to the research. He said that these new species will prove to be a boon for small-scale farmers and will substantially contribute to both food security and nutritional security in the country.
These seven pulse species are poised to revolutionize pulse farming in India. As the nation has faced challenges of unpredictable weather patterns impacting pulse production, these varieties offer hope to farmers.
Notably, the government of India has set a target of producing 320 lakh tonnes of pulses annually by 2030. However, there has been a decline in pulse cultivation during the Kharif season of 2022-23, making these innovations critical.

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