doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.116 Published online 30 April 2009
Agricultural scientists have developed high-yielding rice varieties for a saline paddy stretch in Kerala through inter-varietal hybridisation between local strains1.
The hybridization was carried out between normal and saline tolerant traditional cultivars of Kaipad, a saline-prone natural organic rice production tract of North Kerala.
In comparative field trials the five newly developed cultures showed high yield, medium height, tolerance to salinity and lodging, favourable grain and cooking qualities. These cultures have a wide genetic base because one of the parents is a local cultivar having abiotic and biotic stress resistance, and preferable cooking qualities.
Till now, there has been no high yielding rice variety in Kaipad. These cultures will provide varietal diversity to the salt stress-prone fields of the region. A major reason for farmers from the area to move away from rice cultivation has been unfavourable characters of locally available cultivars. The newly developed rice cultures are now in the pre-release stage and being hailed as ideal varieties for Kaipad.
The researchers say the varieties could increase the production and export of organic red rice from Kerala.
The authors of this work are from: Pepper Research Station, Kerala Agricultural University, Panniyur, India; Regional Agricultural Research Station, Kerala Agricultural University, Pilicode; Regional Agricultural Research Station, Kerala Agricultural University, Pattambi, India.