Protein Enriched Wheat To Boost Exports

New Delhi, Feb 25: | Updated: Feb 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
The scientists are trying to increase the protein content in wheat grown in Punjab and Haryana so that its export can fetch better price. Attempts are also being on to increase the micro-nutrient content in wheat.

The farm scientists are also developing mustard varieties which can mature within 100 days. They have already developed chickpeas which can be grown in moisture stress regions and are resistant to salinity. Australia has experimented with success in growing chickpeas developed by Indian scientists.

Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) director S Nagarajan said on Wednesday, the wheat grown in Punjab and Haryana has low protein content of about 9 per cent. If we increase this by at least 1 per cent, this wheat can fetch better export prices. Consumers in the developed countries prefer wheat with high protein content.

He said apart from increasing the protein content, there is also a need to increase the content of micro-nutrients like zinc and copper. Our scientists are in the process of developing this variety too, he said, adding already scientists have developed the wheat variety PBW 502 which is resistant to Karnal Burnt disease.

Dr Nagarajan said the next phase of farm revolution is on developing food crops with high nutrition value, value addition in food, added emphasis on farmer-industry linkanges and food processing, and use of non-conventional energy sources, apart from crop diversification. He said crop diversification has already begun with growth in dairy and poultry sub-sectors. Value addition in food is spontaneous.

Citing an example, he said, in Panipat, Haryana, there is a cluster of units processing pickles from fruits and vegetable. These units have come up spontaneously with support from government or technical support from scientists in government agencies.

He said the institute will be hosting the two-day Krishi Vigyan Mela in its campus beginning on farmerss day on February 27. Agriculture minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the mela.

On February 28, the Delhi Horticultural Society will arrange the horticulture show, which will be attended by farmers from all over the country.