NAFED to distribute BARC-developed seeds


New Delhi : Farmers’ cooperative NAFED will distribute high-yielding seeds developed by the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to farmers to increase agricultural productivity, NAFED Managing Director C.V. Ananda Bose said here Monday.

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BARC under its nuclear agriculture and biotechnology division has developed 38 new seeds by combining mutation and recombination breeding techniques.

These include 20 oil seeds (groundnut-14, mustard-3, soybean-2 and sunflower-1,) 15 pulses (green gram or moong-7, black gram-4, pigeon pea or tur-4) and one each cowpea (chowli), rice and jute seeds.

The agriculture ministry has notified the seeds for commercial cultivation.

Ananda Bose said many of these seed were being sown in several states, but it will be the first time they will be distributed on a national scale.

The NAFED initiative derives from the central government’s plan to stop the decline in agricultural production, considered the main factor behind the skyrocketing prices of food items.

“We will create a bridge between the scientist and the farmer. The BARC has generated the technology and it is our turn to disseminate it,” Ananda Bose said.

NAFED and BARC will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April.

Under the MoU, BARC will supply the technology and breeder seeds to NAFED along with a list of empanelled producers of these seeds.

“This would enable NAFED to ensure multiplication of the seeds into certified seeds. NAFED will also be allowed to do contract farming by private agencies. All the seeds distributed to the farmers will be organic seeds,” said a NAFED statement.

The BARC mutation research is concentrated mainly on the oilseeds of the country, such as groundnut, mustard, soyabean, sunflower and sesame, and pulses, besides jute, rice and wheat using X-rays, gamma rays, fast and thermal neutrons.

All the seeds have been tested at BARC’s Tarapur farm.

“Application of science and technology holds the key for agricultural development in India. Our progress from Green Revolution to Evergreen
Revolution depends on agriculture technology. And BARC holds the key for this,” Ananda Bose said.

The country’s largest farmers’ cooperative is equipped to distribute the BARC-developed seeds across the country.

“We have the delivery system for taking the technology from laboratory to the land. We have godowns, warehouses and cold storages everywhere,” he said.