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Old seed push for more yield

Scientists of Bihar Agriculture University (BAU), Sabour, have taken steps to spread awareness among Katarni paddy growers in the district on ways to increase production by conserving old seeds.

BAU vice-chancellor Mewa Lal Choudhary, who addressed the mass gathering of farmers at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) here on Saturday, conducted a training-cum-awareness programme, providing tips to the farmers for better yield of Katarni, a variety of paddy with high essence.

He urged them to utilise the varsity as well as the local KVK to increase their productivity.

“I am sure that the tillers’ labour and the technical assistance of BAU, Sabour, would help spread the essence of Katarni rice to large parts of the country,” he said.

Talking to The Telegraph, Choudhary said the central government’s Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA) has provided opportunities to establish an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority. The act has to encourage the development of new varieties of plants, as it has been considered necessary to recognise and protect the farmers’ rights.

According to Choudhary, owing to the rampant use of high-yielding variety (HYV) of seeds, farmers have started ignoring the old variety.

But farmer Anita Devi of Rajoun block, who attended the programme, said: “Last year, I had preserved old seeds from the previous harvesting season. I used them this season and the rice production grew.”