ICAR released over 6100 improved varieties of field and horticultural crops since Independence

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27 July 2022, New Delhi: ICAR has contributed significantly in varietal improvement programmes. Since Independence, more than 6100 varieties of field and horticultural crops have been released in India. During past eight years National Agricultural Research System (NARS), under the aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has released 1956 high yielding stress tolerant varieties/ hybrids of field crops of which 1622 are climate resilient. The details are as follows:

Field crop varieties released since 2014 to 2022

CropsNo. of varieties released(1969-2022)No. of varieties released(2014-2022)Climate resilient varieties(2014-22)Biofortified varietiesVarieties developed by MAS
Cereals28589248076360
Oilseeds956291252148
Pulses107430427026
Forage crops22111891
Fibre crops500239154
Sugar crops1426442
Others491668
Grand Total5800195616228774
Field crop varieties released since 2014 to 2022

During past three years and current year total 946 varieties of seeds including cereals (379), oilseeds (146), pulses (168), forage crops (55), fibre crops (158), sugarcane (26) and potential crops (14) have been developed of which more than 86% varieties have been developed by ICAR.  In horticultural crops, also 317 varieties/ hybrids have been released.

India, with respect to the global productivity, is lower in certain crops, while higher in others. The comparative statement is given in the Table below. In addition to productivity per se, per day productivity is also important component for determining the genetic potential of crops. Per day productivity of major crops in India is better or at par with any of the high productivity countries. India has multiple cropping system with high cropping intensity, whereas, in high productivity countries, the crops are taking longer maturity duration due to which only one crop can be taken and cropping intensity is low in comparison to India9=66

A comparative data on productivity of certain crops in India and the world

Sl. No.

Crops India (Yield (Kg/ha)) World(Yield (Kg/ha))
1 Cereals 3283 4071
2 Pulses 704 964
7 Sugar crops 77347 68456
8 Castor 2167 1678
9 Coconuts 6825 5315
10 Groundnuts 1632 1699
11 Linseed 605 951
12 Rapeseed 1217 2039
13 Safflower 515 800
14 Cotton 1378 2610
15 Sesame 433 487
16 Soybean 928 2784
17 Sunflower 666 1802

Source:FAOSTAT;https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QCL cited on 21.07.2022

India has made a commendable progress in genetic enhancement of different crops and the productivity levels have increased to more than three times (2373 kg/ha during 2020-21 from 710 kg/ha during 1960-61). The present total food grain production of more than 316 million tonnes has been achieved mainly due to enhancement in productivity. The varieties developed by ICAR have revolutionized the Indian agriculture, as a result there is 6.19 times enhancement in production of food grains, 3.30 times in pulses, 7.46 times in oilseeds, 10.31 times in cotton and 7.55 times in sugarcane since 1950; and 3.42 times in horticulture crops since 1992-93.

In addition to the network of 731 KVKs for disseminating the latest developments made in Agriculture sector in our country, ICAR has adopted 4055 villages by 1154 groups of 4417 scientists for direct interface with the farmers to expedite the lab to land process. During 2021-22, 41402 field activities including field days, trainings, demonstrations, technology awareness programmes were conducted and 662916 farmers were contacted across the country.

Since 2014, 286 varieties have been bred specially for flood/ water submergence/ water logging tolerance (43), drought/moisture stress/ water stress tolerance (175), salinity/ alkalinity/ sodic soils tolerance (36), heat stress/ high temperature tolerance (25), cold/ frost/ winter chilling tolerance (7) using the precision phenotyping tools. Modern molecular tools like genomic selection using molecular markers and genome editing techniques are also being deployed in crop improvement, as a result 74 varieties in seven crops namely, rice, wheat, maize, pearl millet, chickpea, soybean and groundnut developed through precision breeding tools, have been released for commercial cultivation. Further, ICAR has developed 87 nutrition-rich crop varieties in important crops like rice, wheat, maize, pearl millet, finger millet, small millet, lentil, groundnut, linseed, mustard, soybean, cauliflower, potato, sweet potato, greater yam and pomegranate.

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