Bhubaneswar, Jan. 6: Technologies developed by the state’s major laboratories and research institutions are being readily accepted both by the common people and small entrepreneurs.
The Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology’s (IMMT) new composite material made of fly ash and red mud from industries for making bricks is not only helping small businessmen, but the industries producing such eco-threatening wastes are set to achieve “zero waste” status with their waste materials being channelised for the brick-making business.
The IMMT has already given its lab technology to two brick-manufacturing units at Berhampur and Bhubaneswar.
“While the scientists of the institute are currently developing a low-cost cook stove named ‘Harsha’ with low-carbon emissions, the development of ‘terafil’ (terracotta filter) two years ago is making waves in providing pure cleaning water to millions across the country. Terafil is a simple filter candle comprising clay, sand and saw dust,” said Srikant Sharma, chief scientist, R&D (planning), IMMT.
On the agriculture front, the development of ‘Jayanti rohu’ is a landmark achievement demonstrating the potential of the selective breeding programme by the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA). The rohu has already given a yield of 17 tonne per hectare in a year.
“Besides we are also taking steps for multiple breeding of major Indian carps. We have tied up with farmers of districts such as Puri, Khurda, Boudh, Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur to transfer the technology. But the most interesting achievement is that many farmers in western Odisha such as Bargarh, Sambalpur and Jharsuguda are going for ornamental fish culture (aquarium varieties),” said CIFA director P. Jayasankar.
Another leading central institute — Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack — which has developed nearly 100 rice varieties in the 65 years of its existence, is now basking in the glory of the Naveen and Pooja varieties, which have been received by farmers well.
“Other varieties such as Sahabhagidhan is drought-tolerant while Varshadhan can be cultivated in water-logged areas. For saline areas, we have developed varieties such as Luna Sampad, Lunishree and Luna Suvarna, which have been tested in Ersama in Jagatsinghpur district with good results,” said CRRI director Trilochan Mohapatra.
One of the major areas of focus for the institute in the past couple of years has been to develop non-basmati short-grained aromatic rice varieties with high-yield for Odisha.
Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT), on the other hand, has developed 59 rice varieties, 12 of which have become hugely popular. While the upland early varieties including Khandagiri, Parijat, Mandakini are yielding within 80 days, mid-early varieties such as Lalat and Konark yield within 120-125 days and medium-duration varieties such as Surendra, Pratikshaya and Jajati are popular (135 days). In lowland varieties, Kanchan, Ramchandi, Uphaar and Jagabandhu are also popular.
Professor Emeritus and rice breeder Satya Ranjan Das of the premier agriculture university said: “OUAT’s own variety Lalat is now cultivated in more than 50 per cent of the cultivable land in Odisha. Jajati is also a popular variety by our university.”
In the disease research front, the Institute of Life Sciences has made substantial progress in the use of turmeric derivatives to contain breast and pancreatic cancer. National Institute of Science Education and Research is working on a collaborative project on stress in life and progression of various diseases such as diabetes.
Besides, the institute’s three regional centres — Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Central Horticultural Extension Station and Regional Centre for Tuber Crops Research — have contributed to people’s benefit.