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India releases new hybrid rice varieties


The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has released the India's first F1 hybrid basmati rice, plus two other new improved rice varieties, the Times of India reports. These rice have better grain quality, and have potentially higher yields, than IARI's popular Pusa Basmati 1. IARI director Panjab Singh said the varietal release committee had cleared RH-10, the first hybrid basmati with a yield potential of 7 metric tons per hectare, and an average yield of 5 tons. It is supposed to yield 45 per cent more than Pusa Basmati 1. Two other new improved basmati rice varieties are in the pipeline. Pusa Sugandh 2 and Pusa Sugandh 3 yield 11 to 17 per cent more than Pusa Basmati 1, ranging from 4.5 to 5 metric tons per hectare. Pusa Basmati 1 usually yields about 4 tons. The new varieties are also more disease-resistant, Panjab Singh said. The new varieties and the hybrid were bred for regions such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Uttaranchal.

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