Bhubaneswar, April 16 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday requested union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to establish a national level pulse research institute for development of suitable varieties in the state to enhance the income of the farmers.
“Keeping the potential in the state for augmenting pulse production for the country, I would like to request you to consider establishing a national level pulse research institute or a branch of Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur in the state so that suitable varieties can be developed in the state in a time-bound manner,” he said in a letter to the union minister.
He said this will ensure increase in production and productivity of pulses in the state and the nation.
In Odisha, pulses are grown in about 20.88 lakh hectares – 6.86 lakh hectares in Kharif and 14.02 lakh hectares in Rabi, which is higher than most states in India, he added.
The chief minister said the state has about 16 lakh hectares of rice fallow which can be easily utilised for cultivation of pulses during Rabi season. ‘Mung’, ‘urad’, ‘arhar’, ‘kulthi’, gram, cowpea, field pea and lentil are some of the major pulses grown in the state.
Noting that many indigenous local varieties of pulses, suitable to these climatic conditions are being used, he said the yield potential of these varieties is below the national average and there is “a need for research on pulses in the state for development of suitable varieties in the state to enhance the income of the farmers”.
Patnaik said his state has taken several steps to bridge the yield gap in pulses like inviting various national and international institutes to develop suitable location-specific new varieties for the state. MoUs have been signed with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and National Seeds Corporation (NSC) for taking up seed production within the state, he added.