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India Uttar Pradesh government nod to new, better variety of maize for farmersqrcode

Apr. 25, 2018

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Prof Shailesh Marker (left) showing crop of SHIATS Makka-2 to SHUATS VC Prof Rajendra B Lal.(HT Photo)

After years of research and trials, a scientist of Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS), Allahabad Shailesh Marker has developed a new composite variety of white seeded maize—SHIATS Makka-2—that is more sturdy and gives more yield than other regular and already available varieties.

Having proven its effectiveness, SHIATS Makka-2 has now also received a go ahead from the Uttar Pradesh agriculture department for plantation by farmers.

Professor, department of genetics and plant breeding at SHUATS, Shailesh Marker had procured the germplasm of white seeded inbred lines from CIMMYT or the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico in 2005 and developed this variety under the guidance of SHUATS vice-chancellor Prof Rajendra B Lal and the then director (research) Prof SB Lal, who inspired him to carry on his work in the right direction.

“This variety has a yield potential of 35-40 quintals per hectare and matures in 85-90 days. It is also resistant to Maydis leaf blight, Cervularia leaf blight which are common threats to maize in India. It also has good quality traits like 8.4 per cent protein, 4.6 per cent oil and 81 per cent starch content, which is a highly prized input for many industrial products,” shared Prof Shailesh Marker, who is also director (research) of SHUATS, Allahabad and has a PhD from Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur under his belt.

He said that SHIATS Makka-2 was a composite variety due to which farmers need not buy seeds every year like hybrids and can use the same seed consecutively for 3 to 4 years without any yield loss.

“Due to its white coloured flour it can be mixed with wheat flour to make different food products thus helping in fortification of food,” he added.

Prof Marker further added that SHIATS Makka-2 had a unique stay green habit, which would enable a farmer to harvest mature cobs for its grains, even while the plant stays green, so that it can be used as a green fodder to feed cattle.

Department of agriculture, government of Uttar Pradesh tested SHIATS Makka-2 in many locations throughout Uttar Pradesh for three consecutive years and which proved that it was superior to the check variety and outdid it in terms of yield by 20 per cent.

“As a result, this variety which is suitable for growing in Kharif season has been released on April 10, 2018 by State Varietal Release Sub-committee of Uttar Pradesh in its annual meeting and pronounced it suitable to be grown in the State of Uttar Pradesh,” he shared with pride.

Marker said that overall farmers have highly appreciated it in front line demonstration held for them and have also shown interest in cultivating this variety if seed is provided to them.

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